"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
That’s right, folks. Will Smith and his son, Jaden made another tear-jerking movie, but nothing like “The Pursuit of Happiness.” These tears were from sheer boredom, and extreme disbelief at how horrible the movie was. “After Earth” opened this weekend to a full movie theater here in Tallahassee, leaving much to be desired.
What was perceived to be an exciting journey of physical effort and emotional bonding was actually of story of flat characters, zero development, and nonsensical structure. Will Smith’s character was supposed to be the stern dad that lacked a relationship with his child because of having too much of a relationship with work. Jaden? He was the seeking son, wanting only to make his poppy proud. A simple enough plot setup. The father and son have an opportunity to mend their broken relationship through bonding. But, what takes place is farthest from bonding.
After their space ship crashes on deadly evolved Earth due to poor engineering, probably because the ship appeared to be made of PVC pipe and burlap, they have the opportunity as lone survivors of the crash to support each other, while seeking out the beacon to send a distress signal for help. The graphics of the morphed animals were obviously computer generated, but did show hints of an imagination. However, with the rapid fluctuations of temperature and climate from day-to-day, the animals would not have appeared as they did; as the common animals we view in our petting zoos, except with sharper teeth and a larger body structure. To handle such intense weather, thicker fur would have been necessary if this movie were to be realistic. And, that was the problem. It was not realistic in the least bit.
As Jaden’s character, whose name, when pronounced from the three or so other characters that were not simply space-fillers, seemed to changed (who was he supposed to be, anyway?), pursued this life-saving beacon, he spent days away from the ship. Yet, we never saw him take a drink or eat a morsel of rations. That’s right. We had a superman on our hands, people. It gets better, though. After being pursued by vicious apes and other crazy specimens, while also running through trees, branches, and brush, Jaden’s character walked away without the hint of exhaust or scrapes. This was most noticeable when he fought the crazy alien thing, the Ursa. The Ursa, at one point, attacked his leg, scratching and gnawing on it, and yet Jaden’s character was able to run away without even the slightest hint of a limp.
This brings me to my next piece of beef that I had with this film. The Ursa. Where did these things come from and why did they hate humans so much? Why not animals? Animals sweat when they are scared too. Yet, it waited for the human. And what about the holding cell for the beast? The cage appeared to be the alien itself, not looking at all like a substantial, sustainable structure. When the camera zoomed in on the insides of this cell, it looked like no more than the insides of a giant pumpkin. Very scary.
But let me get back to the bonding. Through out this whole movie, there was little to no sense as to why there was a crappy bond between the father and son. Why was Jaden’s character so concerned with proving himself to his dad? This wasn’t even addressed until the near-end of the movie. Not even a hint. We just got a terrible monologue given by Jaden’s character, where the facial expressions that were supposed to be anger, looked more like a laughing contest. But, this wasn’t the only point in the movie where the facials were horrid. Throughout the entire movie, emotions were not conveyed, not even when Will’s character told of his “epic” battle. Go back to “I-Robot,” Will. You might be able to play the main robot with how stiff you were.
By the end of the movie, much was left to be desired, as well as answered. How could a civilization that was so advanced, not have cellular strength and signal? It’s been 1,000 years since you lived on Earth and you still haven’t figured out cell phones? Really? I mean, because right now we definitely aren’t walking around with mini computers that allow us to surf the web literally anywhere. Yes, I am rolling my eyes as I type this. And, I rolled my eyes about every two minutes during the movie, chuckling to myself at how terrible and stupid the film was. It’s a wonder my eyes didn’t get stuck.
What looked like an exciting film, definitely ended up being a low-budget looking film. With just two main characters, and two supporting, with bad stage props (Did I mention the crystals in the volcanoes that just looked like glittered Styrofoam?), Will and Jaden now have a bad movie on their record; One that especially did not seem to settle on one genre. The producers, directors, creators, and all involved, seemed to just grab at the popular films of this summer to try to create and quick and cheap film. Aliens, such as the new series premiering on TV called “Falling Skies.” The destruction of Earth, “World War Z.” And, space, taking from “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
Save your money, folks. Go see a movie that’s worth seeing, such as “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” I personally loved this, feeling nostalgic for the original show as I watched it two times the opening week. As for “After Earth,” I give it zero stars.