After Earth, as the title hints, is all about how life survives after the planet is doomed to environmental disaster.
Director M Night Shyamalan takes us years ahead when Earth is totally opposite from what it is now but unfortunately he doesn't offer anything new to our imagination or take our imagination to that futuristic level. And here is where the problem lies with a sci-fi flick like this.
The flick kicks off with a crash landing on Earth and the survivers are Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith). Will Smith, who is badly injured, gives his son the task to travel to the other side of the planet and deliver a signal for help.
Entrapped by the growing number and the growing size of flesh-eating insects, Jaden Smith shows his courage to complete the task. Will he be able to succeed, that is how the story deals further.
Though it's a Hollywood flick but still it has few melodramatic shades of Bollywood. The father-son rift. To blame is Will Smith's extended non-existence, Jaden Smith's desperation to prove himself to his father. Or a radio link between the two where words of encouragement flourish like anything.
These words had to be used as son Jaden Smith is the only one carry to forward Will Smith's reign in Hollywood. And to add to this, After Earth is not Will Smith's flick in any way. Like most of his flicks, where Will Smith is always at the core and that is enough to excite admirers, the 42-year old actor here passes his throne to his young son.
Apart from the predictable storyline, which is one flaw in the flick, the complete burden of the show on Waden Smith's shoulder is another.
However, there are some thrilling scenes, especially the hide and seek game between Jaden and these aliens creatures alongwith a clash in the climax between him and the monster Usra but this is only the saviour to the already sinking flick. Despite these sweet little thrills which work as an alarm, this 100-minute semi-action drama looks somewhat stretched with numerous moments of yawn.
But we have to give a vote of thanks to cinematographer Peter Suschitzky and the imaginative production design that effectively conveys the idea of a nautical-themed futuristic world with sail-shaped buildings, aircraft that resemble stinger rays, and webbed diving-ready clothing. The editing is rigid.
With not many actors in this silent yet dangerous journey on Earth, Jaden Smith is the only one who gets to demonstrate his acting skills. Surely he is the star to rise in future but After Earth is not we will remember him for.