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After Earth

3.3 out of 5 stars 1,562 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.

Earth isn't exactly an afterthought in After Earth, but based on the 1,000-year backstory that takes up all of five minutes in the movie's prologue, there's no particular reason for humanity's former home world to be the place where this sci-fi family survival story is set. You get a sense that a lot of exposition about exactly why humans had to abandon Earth millennia ago was cut to get right to the adventure and bonding as Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith) struggle to find their way off the now hostile but otherwise randomly chosen planet. A dramatic and devastating spaceship crash-landing has left them lone survivors, with the militaristic General Cypher gravely injured and the 14-year-old cadet Kitai the only one who can find the distress beacon that will save them. He'll have to cross 100 kilometers of harsh terrain inhabited by dangerously evolved species that resemble scary baboons, jaguars, giant birds of prey, and lethal leeches. Even the environment is a hazard, with nightly temperatures that plummet to sub-zero levels and are escapable only in strategic geothermal hotspots. The worst danger young Kitai must face is an escaped alien creature the ship was transporting for a training mission. It is a fearsome "ursa," one of the blind, deaf monsters that track and kill humans on their new planet, Nova Prime, by homing in on the fear pheromone we all emit. All but a disciplined few, that is, including Cypher, who has learned the practice of making himself invisible to the ursa by completely obliterating fear. Kitai may have the gene for this ability, known as "ghosting," but he hasn't mastered it yet. So when he sets off on his quest under the stern direction of Cypher, he's a fumbling furrowed brow of panic and fear. Along the way he faces the demons of Earth, the trauma of his childhood (which comes to us bit by bit in flashback), the conflict of his daddy issues, and ultimately a showdown with the ursa. The only defenses in his arsenal are his wiles, his growing moral strength, an awesome suit that changes chameleon-like as it adapts to his environment, and a magical sword that has more blades than a Swiss Army knife. The movie is beautifully shot by former A-list director M. Night Shyamalan, and it includes some lovely CGI effects as well as a background of technology that isn't quite like any sci-fi futurism we've seen before. Though some of the elements may be too intense for some young viewers, After Earth is primarily a family movie. Jaden Smith is still a little bit light on acting chops to carry the whole load. Fortunately the commanding presence (both literally and figuratively) of his über-movie-star father gives a bit of balance. Will Smith conceived the story as a vanity project for his son, and it seems likely that with more experience and training Jaden will grow to fill his father's charismatic shoes. In the meantime, the generic but entirely serviceable story world of After Earth is as much a gift to its young star as it is to undemanding, genre-loving moviegoers. --Ted Fry

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Will Smith, Jaden Smith
  • Directors: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Studio: Sony
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,562 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008JFUP8A
  • Learn more about "After Earth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I'll try not to give the plot away but my overall opinion is that this is a mediocre rental at best. I had high hopes for this movie as I'm a fan of post apocalyptic movies and futuristic movies. Adding Will Smith's good acting to the mix had me thinking this was a sure hit. Unfortunately-the movie follows his son Jaden Smith, whose acting skills are less than stellar. Will Smith does start out in the movie with a majority of the scenes but 15 minutes into the film and his exposure is cut to a him communicating with his son through basically a wrist walkie talkie. He is not involved in any of the action sequences in the movie and Jaden Smith's acting skills are not developed enough to carry a movie in my opinion. I can only assume he was cast in this movie as a favor to his father. Will's performance as a strict futuristic military type father is just ok as his character is supposed to come across as a very strict-almost unfeeling father and yet it's just stiff acting at best. And again-Jaden Smith's acting is just not all that good in my opinion. He just lacks believability to me but he's young and I have hopes he'll master the trade as his father did.

While there are a few "creatures" in the movie-so much more could have been done with the premise of this movie yet the focus was generally on Jaden Smith's character rather than diving into the evolving of creatures on this planet. If you are looking for a movie with a lot of action and sci-fi special effects-there are a few but this film falls short of what they could have done with this storyline. If you're looking for a film with a deep meaning intertwined with the plot-this is not it. If you're expecting another great film showcasing Will Smith's impressive range for acting-this is not it.
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28 Comments 262 of 310 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video
I don't know why they still give M.Night Somethingsomething yet another chance to make a movie. One horrible piece of garbage after another.
So you have M. Night's talent for producing utter trash 10 out of 10 times, then this pathetic idea of promoting Will Smith's son just because he is Will Smith's son even though he can't act better than a paper bag, plus you have a script that must have been written by someone completely stoned out of his mind and the result is predictable - disaster.

To give you an example for how bad the script is - the entire movie rests on the concept that in order to fight the evil aliens you have to be able to control your fear, because that controls your body odors. Because the aliens are blind and can only kill you when they smell you. Are you still with me?!?
So this is supposed to be a hard sci-fi movie, with a human civilization that has mastered interstellar travel, large-scale terraforming and faster than light communications - but they have to fight some aliens - with swords!
And therefore they have to walk up to them - and they have never considered just wearing a suit with helmet that would just contain their odor. Or, you know, use weapons that.. are not SWORDS! They do have odor-containing plastic bubbles to protect their children when the aliens attack, so they are aware that this is a concept that would work - but no, they put their children under the bubble and then the parents go and fight - with SWORDS!
Not a laser gun, or even just a rifle or - heck - even a crossbow would do, since the aliens are actually quite vulnerable (to swords...).
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24 Comments 281 of 353 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
You know, there are many reasons people rate movies poorly other than the movie sucking itself. I think unfortunately because of M. Night Shyamalan as a director and Jaden Smith as the main character, whom most people feel has his career in acting due to his fathers clout, this movie has been received with a bit of negative Bias. Now, I have seen some pretty sorry movies over the years. If you ignore the bias and look at the movie objectively without consideration of cast and crew, this wasn't a sorry movie. The very first part of the story is a bit weak. Not enough character introduction was shown to get you involved in the characters lives. I am thinking the scenes that lead up to the son's dismissal were cut leaving a gap that isn't properly explained. It gives no visual representation of why Kitai (Jaden Smith) was cut from the ranks of the graduating rangers. Probably due to the finished product of those scenes not meeting the quality requirements. they were probably not filmed again due to costs. Other than this, the acting was watchable and the story (A survival story) was good and reasonably believable based on the level of technology shown during the movie and the amount of time in the future (Enough time to develop faster than light interstellar travel, find a new world to live in, run from a hostile planet that had evolved in many ways to kill humans and live 1000 years after that time). In other words a distant future. The special affects were good and believable enough to keep you involved but not spectacular.

The theme of the story is the understanding that fear is not real except in ones mind but danger is.
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14 Comments 112 of 139 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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