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Film Review: Horrendous ‘After Earth’ Insults Entire Planet

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CHICAGO – The “sci” in M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi blockbuster “After Earth” clearly stands for Scientology and not science. There’s nothing remotely approaching honest science in this boring, preachy, horrendously made film that occasionally looks good but has nothing more worthwhile to say than a pamphlet trying to get you to convert to a cult. “Danger is real. Fear is a choice.” With more dialogue like that than actual plot or character, “After Earth” numbs the viewer into thinking it’s saying something deep when it’s really just a shallow, vanity project for the Smith family.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

Will Smith, discarding so much of his likable charisma for an iron-jawed tough character that he really shouldn’t have played, stars as the hilariously named Cypher Raige, the toughest soldier in the universe. Raige is a legend among fellow Rangers for his “ghosting” ability. The human race was forced to leave Earth after, of course, we destroyed the planet. But humanity found itself the target of monstrous aliens called Ursas, who are blind but can smell your fear before they gut you. Raige has no fear. And so he is a ghost to the creatures that have hunted people and even killed his daughter Senshi (seen in flashbacks as Zoe Kravitz).

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “After Earth” in our reviews section.

Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) wants to be just like the father that crippled veterans of the alien war salute and who forces his son to call him “Sir.” Kitai has been in ranger training but his Commander doesn’t graduate the young cadet to the next level, much to the adolescent’s dismay. Kitai hasn’t been able to deal with his own fear, seen racing ahead of his fellow cadets when he just needs to keep the pace, and crying when faced with fear. Of course, Kitai is about to be thrown out of the nest and forced to fly.

The Raige men are on a transport ship to another planet when they get caught in a horrendous meteor storm that could crash their vessel. They try to warp out of it and end up, randomly, in Earth’s orbit. The ship plummets to the Earth and tears apart. Of course, only Cypher and Kitai survive, although the old man breaks both his legs, leaving the boy to have to traverse the miles to the half of the ship that contains a beacon for others to find them. Oh, did I mention the ship was carrying an Ursa for “training purposes”? Yes, we’re supposed to believe that a creature that has wiped out much of the human race is kept alive and used to train others. Leave your disbelief at the door.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “After Earth” review.

“After Earth” stars Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo, and Zoe Kravitz. It was written by Gary Whitta and M. Night Shyamalan and directed by Shyamalan. It will be released on May 31, 2013.

After Earth
After Earth
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

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