After Earth: Blu Ray Review
Released by Sony Home Entertainment
Will Smith stars with son Jaden Smith in this rather odd slice of sci-fi, directed by M Night Shyamalan.
On a world in our future ravaged by a cataclysmic event, Will Smith is General Cypher, a war hero, whose shadow son Kitai (Smith's real-life son Jaden) is struggling to walk in. But when the pair of them are left stranded after an asteroid storm hits their ship, Cypher is left fighting for his life when the ship crashes onto an abandoned Earth.
It's left to Kitai to man up and try and save the day.
While After Earth looks relatively impressive with its space-age gumption full in overdrive (should that be hyperdrive?) it has to be said the story is somewhat plodding and at times, terribly dull. Both Smiths have a slightly clinical almost military feel to the delivery of their lines, and while that's probably intentional, the staccato clipped tones rob them of any emotion whatsoever.
Jaden Smith steps up reasonably well throughout it all, but the script, complete with a few set pieces, verges a little too much on the preachy side as it leans too heavily on the CGI creatures. Echoes of Scientology seep through and you can understand why those accusations were levelled at the film on release.
All in all, After Earth isn't the thrill ride you'd expect; it's a story of fathers and sons which is quite tepidly told.