After Earth


Smith and son at world’s end...

It’s Earth, Jim, but not as we know it in the latest venture for the Smith family dynasty, a sci-fi fantasy set a millennium from now on a world long since abandoned.

Things have much changed in the interim: evolution, climate and geology have rendered the third rock from the sun a veritable death-trap for its former overlords.

Fearless general Cypher Raige (Will Smith, stern and sonorous) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith, teary and tremulous) have their work cut out, then, when a brush with an asteroid field sends their spaceship crashing down onto the planet of their forefathers. Well, Kitai does at any rate, broken legs forcing Pops to stay in the wreckage while the boy retrieves a beacon jettisoned 60 miles away.

You expect a twist in an M. Night Shyamalan movie and this is After Earth’s: it’s a Will Smith film in which he plays second fiddle. Instead it’s Jaden who does all the running, jumping and fighting, there being tigers and leeches and apes (oh my!) stood between him and his prize.

Oh, and did we mention the enormous, slimy alien the Raiges inexplicably brought along for the ride? Yes, it’s after Kitai too. Looking back, that tournament in The Karate Kid was a cakewalk in comparison.

There’s a lot to admire here: the boldly swooping camerawork, pinpoint-sharp 4K visuals and enough forest-based mayhem to rival Avatar.

Yet there is much to titter at too, most of it emanating from a clunky, cumbersome script containing more than one preposterous incident. There’s not a lot that Will – saddled with a static role to rival Ryan Reynolds in Buried – can do with lines like “This mission has reached abort criteria!”

But for all its mealy-mouthed dialogue and often comical solemnity After Earth at least delivers consistently diverting entertainment – something you couldn’t say of Shyamalan’s last directorial outing, the calamitous Last Airbender.


Jaden Smith takes centre stage in a futuristic rites of passager that plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. Although Oblivion narrowly remains this summer’s better ruined-Earth actioner.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • AlfredsDream098

      Jun 3rd 2013, 20:11

      Haven't seen the movie but I'm going out on a limb and say this review does not accurately represent how the general reception has been. I might enjoy it but you are the people that gave Wrath of the Titans 4 stars.

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    • elmarinero77

      Jun 5th 2013, 5:30

      Total Film almost never give out and out bad reviews to tentpole releases now. Even when the film is generally agreed to be a piece of c**p they hedge with a 3/5. Then downgrade on the DVD review. I suspect their getting paid off. I quit subscribing because of this. The articles are still solid but a film mag you can't trust on cinema reviews is pretty weak.

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    • PhillTurner

      Jun 9th 2013, 20:00

      The film is not bad but not great. Shame nice idea great cast and beautiful to look at. It just doesn't come together for a few reasons. 1. Will Smith is mean and moody in his role so you don't see him act much. 2. The Sci Fi effects aren't believable, just because it s shiny thing doesn't mean if you put it on something we believe it actually does what you're telling us. The effects team here should have done better. 3. The trailer showed everything in the film, just put your imagination through the holes and you have the complete plot. I think M Night has had a bad time of it and wished this was his way back, but alas needs he still needs to see "sense" or maybe get a "break". Phill Turner

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    • dex2010

      Jun 11th 2013, 19:05


      Good review, The story is thin But still entertains. Some critics just want Shyamalans blood. Some comparing this to Battlefield Earth and saying its the worst movie ever! Thats lazy reviewing and they only go into the movie looking for negatives and overlook the positives. AE is a 3 star film nothing less nothing more.

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    • Raphael2

      Jun 14th 2013, 19:40


      I hate to imply, I never really bothered to actually watch this Shyalamon guys movies, i found the story line preposterous and (and kind of weird ), apart from his greatest fail the last "air bender". but through this movie, i sense this might be his greatest movie we've seen in a c**n's age. (literally). just think about it. the story line appears to be, better than his early movies

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    • dojj singh

      Jun 15th 2013, 21:59

      I took my son to watch it, and the lasting impression it's left on him is to always do as I say. Other than when he doesn't want to do what his father says and things work out for the best even though his lies caused the issues in the first place. It's a nice father/son bonding film and the climax is a little different to what I expected too (but I still can't figure out why they bought along one of the "things" either, but I'm sure someones will understand).

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    • jasonoconnor

      Jun 25th 2013, 13:27


      i loved it

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    • Igrayne

      Jun 25th 2013, 18:46

      Will what have you done to yourself and your son is bloody c**p.

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    • matthewbrady

      Sep 11th 2013, 21:42


      f**k this movie is a f*****g a*****e it sucks d***s on a stick

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