Will Smith is one of Hollywood’s bankable action heroes. His fans who want o see him do what he does best have a lot to look forward to in the next couple of months as he is scheduled to film sequels to Bad Boys, I, Robot, and Hancock.
The movies would be enough to compensate for his role in After Earth, where he spent most of the time on his back with two broken legs. Most people who went to buy tickets for the movie expect to see Will Smith did some action on the screen.
Will Smith visualized After Earth as a vehicle for his son Jaden. It is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and co-written by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta. The younger Smith is the real star of After Earth, which is really a sentimental father/son melodrama disguised as a summer action flick.
After Earth is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The Earth is now uninhabitable and humans have moved to a distant planet. Will Smith is General Cypher Raige and Jaden Smith is Kitai. They navigate several kilometers of dangerous terrain to recover an electronic distress beacon that will save them.
But the general was injured during the crash and Kitai is an impulsive kid. The latter is equipped with a space suit that has sensors, video camera and microphone that allows the general to monitor and dictate his every move.
After Earth doesn’t bring something new to the genre. Even its CG monsters and environment are not eye-catching. They look bland compared to recent futuristic movies. The props and special effects do look cheap as well.
There’s one scene that stands out in After Earth. It is when Kitai jumps off a cliff via his wing suit. But Jaden Smith lacks the elder Smith’s screen presence. Maybe in the future he can get better and be at par with his dad. For now, it is best to leave being the action hero to his father.