Any film with Will Smith in it comes with pretty high expectations, but unfortunately, After Earth did not live up to its expected glory. This piece of ‘sci-fi’ is basically an hour and a half of watching Jayden Smith wandering around Earth by himself in an attempt to retrieve a beacon that will a send a signal to his home planet after he and his injured father (Will Smith) crash landed on the now inhabitable Earth.
There are basically only two characters in this film, the two played by Will Smith and Jayden Smith, though, I’d say around an hour of screen time is dedicated to Jayden Smith alone – big mistake. Whoever decided that Jayden Smith was right for the role of Kitai needs to be fired. He was 100% not mature enough for this role and did not have what it takes to sustain over an hour of screen time by himself. His facial expression did not really change throughout the entire movie and it appears that Jayden Smith only has one face – that of a pathetic puppy. Actually no. That’s an insult to pathetic puppies. Jayden Smith did not have the right sort of voice, physique or talent. Has his voice even broken? It didn’t sound like it. He spoke with a pre-pubescent squeak for the entirety of the film which was highly irritating, but also kinda hilarious. Will Smith also disappointed me in this film. There wasn’t anything wrong, per say, with his acting, but he also seemed to be suffering from single-facial-expression syndrome with his only expression being severe. Everything that came out of Will Smith’s mouth was spoken in a deadly serious tone and given that the stuff he was saying was melodramatic and cliche, it was hard not to laugh. To make matters worse, neither character is likable in the slightest and the combination of bad acting and unlikable characters meant there’s little going for this film.
Perhaps this film could’ve been redeemed if it had had the amazing CGI effects that one would expect from a movie such as this. The effects were laughable really. At the beginning, this film had the look of a terrible Star Wars remake, the middle, a terrible Walking with Dinosaurs remake, the ending, some sort of Starship Troopers remake. The technology characters used and the general scenery were unimpressive. At points where the camera panned over Earth or space there was nothing particularly spectacular to look at and at one point it appeared that Will Smith was using some sort of iPad device that promptly rolled up as a piece of cloth. The world created in this film left no lasting impression on me and by the end of the week I’ll probably have forgotten everything about this film.
All in all, this film combines awful acting with a feeble plot line and laughable CGI effects. I would not recommend this film in the slightest as this is possibly the worst sci-fi film of the decade.