After Earth

Director: M. Night Shyamalan (2013)

Young Jaden Smith takes top billing over his megastar dad Will in this handsome and old school sci-fi adventure.

The pair are travelling on a space ship across the cosmos 1,000 years after Earth has been abandoned because of pollution.

Will and Jaden play father and son Prime Commander Cypher Raige and Kitai Raige – who are the only survivors after they crash on a quarantined world.

Warrior Cypher is injured and Kitai must travel alone to recover the signalling device from the other half of the wrecked craft, which lies nearly 100 miles away.

Kitai sets off with limited oxygen supplies, his dad’s nifty electric sword and his own smart survival suit, which changes colour to indicate danger.

Because Cypher has a broken leg, Will spends most of the film confined to a chair barking radio orders to his son. Kitai is headstrong but brave as he encounters baboons, snakes, leeches, giant eagles, tigers and a large, angry, alien beastie.

For the most part the film is an exciting adventure story of a young man striving to grow up and be the measure of his father.

Some of the CGI creatures are not as convincing or as impressive as the beautifully presented cities and spacecraft.

It is an interesting experiment to cast the two Smiths and then ask both of them not to make jokes or attempt to be funny.

Jaden strains every sinew of his acting ability to carry the film while Will keeps his charm and sense of humour mostly buried beneath a stern exterior.

☆☆

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