Will and Jaden Smith Go On an Epic Journey to an Apocalyptic After Earth
12.11.12 by Ryan
"Do you know where we are?"
While not his debut movie, 1999's The Sixth Sense turned director M. Night Shyamalan into an instant sensation, with 2000's Unbreakable and 2002's Signs keeping audiences in anticipation of when the next Shyamalan "twist" movie would arrive next. However, 2006's Lady in the Water was a turning point, and not a good one, as audiences didn't take to the director's fairy tale story. Shyamalan followed with critical punching bags like 2008's The Happening (which still managed some box office success) and 2010's The Last Airbender (which didn't).
Luckily, everyone loves a good redemption story, and Shyamalan could be due for one with next year's After Earth. It doesn't hurt that Shyamalan has decided to join forces with Will Smith, an actor who has been on a hit streak longer than most, and Jaden Smith, who has become a movie star in his own right. After Earth sees the father and son duo crash land on a human-less Earth, with the younger Smith sent on a journey that will hopefully ensure their survival.
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Of course, the movie plays to the Smiths' strengths: a sci-fi tale (Men in Black, I, Robot) on an Earth ravaged by apocalypse (I Am Legend) featuring a father-son duo (The Pursuit of Happyness) with a coming-of-age backdrop (The Karate Kid). And, instead of writing alone as he usually does, Shyamalan sought help from screenwriter Gary Whitta, who knows about apocalypse movies after scripting 2010's The Book of Eli. By the look of the first trailer, Shyamalan may finally have the hit he's been attempting for years.
Just in case anyone was confused by the trailer, the synopsis for After Earth is below.
In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.