Movie Review: After Earth

There is  lot an author can learn from movies and in the spirit of all that reviewing can do for an artist, I thought I'd throw a movie review out there once in a while, especially when one resonates with me. As someone who cares deeply about the environment and what we're doing to the planet, this movie touched me.

Every now and then a movie comes along that is so powerful it touches me on a deep level, making me want to share it. Sometimes it's a movie that doesn't even hit the radar for others, sometimes it's a blockbuster. This one is an M. Night Shyamalon movie (director of Signs, The Sixth Sense, The Happening), which surprised me considered that Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith star in it. A lot of people say you either love M. Night or you hate him, but I disagree. While I've loved most of his movies, there are a few that haven't resonated with me. But I digress.

After Earth takes place in the distant future after humans have been forced to leave Earth because it has rebelled against the abuse we've dished out to it over the years with floods, earthquakes, and the like. Mankind has colonized a new planet, but not without riling up the locals, which has resulted in a rivalry that created a special ability in some of our soldiers called 'ghosting'. The leaving Earth and alien rivalry parts ares brushed over in an attempt to get to the true plot faster. I would have loved to have seen more time spent on these elements, in fact, one could make two entire movies out of these concepts. I think this may be why some movie goers don't like this movie. However, what follows is a great movie as well, even if it should have been the third in a trilogy.

Kitai Raige and his father, Cypher, crash land on a planet that is so hostile, it is considered uninhabitable. Everything on the planet has evolved to kill humans. Sounds terrible until you realize this happened because the natural order was trying to get rid of the one thing that was killing the planet. And of course, the planet is Earth. There are some breathtakingly beautiful scenic shots of what the Earth looks like unpolluted and unmolested by humans, thriving plant life, abundant animal life. It's mesmerizing and utterly sad.

Kitai must cross this hostile planet to get to the beacon that will alert rescuers of their location, or both he and his father will perish. It's a harrowing adventure where Kitai comes to his own in a way that climaxes violently enough that it will disturb some. Yet another reason some may not like this movie. The dynamics between the father and son are raw and real, to the point where they seem over acted to some movie goers. But, it isn't overacting, it's realism to the extreme because these two actors actually are father and son. With that occurrence the dynamics shift in a way that you just can't duplicate, and I loved it.

This hits the five star rating for me.
* Concept
*Screenplay (though it barely made this one due issues mentioned above)
*Will buy it.


  1. Wow, great review, Heather. I hope you'll do this regularly. I did not know Will Smith's son had become an actor. Sounds like some powerful concepts in this film. I'm really glad to know about it, thanks!

    1. You're welcome Linda, and thank you! I'm glad you like the idea. I'll definitely be doing more of these.

  2. Wow! I have to say I'm surprised. Great review! I was unsure about going to see this one.

    You are so right about what an author can take from watching a film. I love movie making and structure!

    1. I think my view on movies is different from a lot of people's because I really analyze the story. For me, that's what it's all about. Everything else is secondary.


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