November 21, 2014
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After Earth
Joyce and Don Fowler

* *

(Dull, boring sci-fi)

Earth has been destroyed. The remaining humans are living on another planet.

Kitai  (Jaden Smith) joins his father (real-life father Will Smith) on a space expedition that crashes, of all places, on Earth. Kitai has some serious relationship problems with his father. He has failed the test to become a Ranger, but now has a chance to show his courage and abilities.

His father has broken both his legs and is immobile. Everyone else on the spaceship is dead. Kitai must travel through what looks like a redwood forest, filled with a variety of dangerous beasts, to get to the tail of the spaceship, which is miles away, and recover a signal device that will lead rescuers to find them.

Can Kitai gather up the courage to carry out the near-impossible task? Can his father hold out until he completes his task? Will father and son make their peace and bond? Will they be saved?

If that sounds exciting, unfortunately, it is not. The long journey is a bore, with father communicating instructions to son until the elaborate communications system fails and son must go it on his own.

There are some decent digital shots of the forest and ugly bird and animal creatures chasing Kitai, but it is not enough to save this dull movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who was a one-hit wonder with “The Sixth Sense.”

Will Smith has little opportunity to show his acting abilities, and son Jaden does little more than pout in this tiresome movie.

Rated  PG-13, with some violence and scary creatures.


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