"Fear is a Choice, Danger is Real."
The theme of the movie is "Fear". An expression that is uncharted and widely misunderstood. In parts of the movie, we could see this "Fear" highlighted, and everything else goes on the way.
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.(Source: IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1815862/)
The plot is simple, Kitai(Jayden) is given a task by his father(Will) to grab a distress beacon so that they may be able to escape the uncharted, quarantined, dangerous planet Earth. The plot has good points, its simple and easy to understand plot. For those expecting a sit through movie, that's what you're going to get. The plot is highly predictable, with not much of twists and breathtaking moments. If you're looking for a heavy intense storyline, this is not the movie for you. The plot is highly predictable, starting from the end to finish. Some parts may be boring, as you already know what may happen before it starts happening.
There are good points to it, but those points are not developed properly. The training of the Rangers, the back story of Cypher, what happened to earth, and the stay in Earth should be highlighted more. Instead what is given to us, is just a plain crash land-escape, scenario, which makes the plot move on too fast, before you even know the movie is done. Not to mention that there was not much back story on Kitai's sister, which left here an empty character, better off without. In the end we are given a broken links of back story, that we have to connect ourselves.
The movie's plot was pretty much centered around Cypher's son, Kitai. Pretty much everything that you could possibly see was him, running around, discovering little bits and pieces of himself on the way. It was Kitai, finding courage in fear and survival. It was an adventure of him becoming a ranger. Nothing more.
The entire plot for me, was boring, as for others, well I could say nothing about them, as some found it boring the same way I thought of it, while others gave it me "interesting" as an answer. Either way there was not much to talk about when it comes to the plot.
The narrative was at a normal pace, until the main plot kicks in. When the crash land into earth happens, the narrative went too fast for its own good, it missed a lot of needed storytelling, and if there was it seemed to be empty. The pace was going too fast that it made movie end faster, the way it went was pretty much haywire, and in some parts where it could possibly settle down, another mediocre problem settles in, that could possibly solved, by the predictable story.
Earth. Our homeplanet is now reclaimed by mother nature. After a thousand years, all the buildings, the structures, everything is now gone. What is left is nature.
A lot could change in a thousand years, and that's what is shown in AfterEarth's setting. Earth is now reclaimed by nature, inhabited by different evolved creatures, adapted to harsh conditions and all made to kill humans.
This version of Earth is highly imaginative, but the imagination was, again, lacking. The empty vast array of greens, trees, grass, was there, but there was no mark of civilization nor remaining bits of whatever that could have lived in earth, it was continuous green life. They could have added different bits structures that could give a little bit of atmosphere to the story, reminiscing the old Earth. A thousand years is a long time, some structures here on earth, man-made or not, can stand for more than a thousand years. If some of these structures is given to the film it could give the empty landscape life.
The creatures that we see in the movie are also lacking. I could only remember four up to five creatures max. They could have provided more of them even if it means that some creatures don't need to interact with the main characters.
In the end, we are given an imaginative idea, yet it lacked. Earth seemed to be completely wiped off any given proof that, we, humans lived. More was needed for this world to come to life, the creatures, the structures, the little reminders that we lived here on Earth was needed to fully put the setting into life.
Kitai and Cypher, the main characters of the story must survive the harsh conditions of Earth, and both must trust each other to live and survive.
There are multiple characters that we could keep tabs on, but the back story of different characters seem too empty that they could not completely affect the story completely. In the end, we are left to just Cypher and Kitai.
The acting of Jayden(Kitai) was mediocre. HIs acting seemed to lack, but it was enough for the movie to carry on. He fitted his character quite well, but needed more of his acting to fully put his character into life. His acting was not that remarkable and we can expect more from him.
On the other hand, Will(Cypher) gave out, again, amazing performance. His father attitude/survivor/"ghosting" attitude can be seen in the purely in the movie. Even though he was stuck in a sitting position during half of the movie, he gave off a good enough performance to let us immense ourselves unto his situation.
Other characters like Kitai's Mother(Sophie) did well also, and his sister(Zoe) gave off some atmosphere to the story.
But some of the characters did not have enough back story to actually give them any point in the story. They didn't even scratch the surface to actually make an impact. We are given empty characters to actually feel less about.
AfterEarth to conclude, is a movie that can be watched, but not over and over again. It had an amazing theme, but the plot, story, narrative was too predictable and empty to actually make you feel good about. The atmosphere was not enough to make you fully immense yourself in the movie. Empty landscapes of the storyline also affected the movie's atmosphere.
We could see a lot of development that could happen with Jayden Smith, but for Will, he did amazing performance once again.
I recommend to watch this movie, to just feel an experience, and just enjoy a sit through, calming movie.
My Score: 6/10