After Earth (M. Night Shyamalan, 2013)


Jun-Dai and Lucía at the Vue Cinemas Islington at 22:40 on 8 June 2013.

After Earth is a very simple movie. The plot is incredibly simple and straightforward, but it’s paced well enough that I never really got bored. That said, After Earth is also a mind-numbingly stupid film, and while the futuristic designs seemed like a lot of attention went into it (buildings, space ship, etc.) and some of the special effects were nicely done (demonstrations of technology, plants closing their leaves at dusk), much of it was not (CGI creatures were mostly terrible). The way the frost descended reminded me of the children outrunning the frost of death in The Day After Tomorrow, and the way in which plants seemed to close up for the day just as Jaden arrived onscreen made the film seem like a video game of some sort.

Most objectionable, however, was the sort of obvious association of ugly with bad. The way the CGI cats seemed so grotesque (it’s hard to make large cats look ugly, but they did a good job) and the way the bad guy ursa (bear?) looked a bit like the Rancor from The Return of the Jedi (and endless similar-looking monsters in movies since then). Meanwhile, the seemingly neutral monkeys were sort of neutral-looking, and the dashing giant roc of course turns out to be a good-hearted saviour.

156 thoughts on “After Earth (M. Night Shyamalan, 2013)

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