After Earth [2013]: Just Watch It Already

I just got back from the movies with a few friends. We watched that new movie, After Earth. I was expecting to see it ever since I saw the trailer on YouTube. And once I watched it, it exceeded expectations. I thought it was gonna be a thriller like Prometheus (only the opposite, because in Prometheus, humans venture into outer space while in After Earth, they set foot on Earth). Oh, just a reminder: there are some spoilers ahead.

Humanity has abandoned Earth. Earth has become inhabitable, mainly because humans polluted and sucked the crap out of it. Thus, humanity escaped into space and has found a place to stay called Nova Prime. However, they were not welcome on Nova Prime. A race of aliens tried to eliminate them using Ursas, monsters that have a resemblance to the monsters in Dead Space. However, General Raige (Will Smith) masters a technique called “ghosting” and humanity can now fight the Ursas as Rangers.

1000 years after leaving Earth, humanity is prospering on Nova Prime. One day, Raige, who is not a good father, takes his son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), out for a walk to a Rangers base. En route, they encounter an asteroid field which damages the ship heavily. The ship makes a timely wormhole jump and arrives just above Earth. Now classified as a Level-1 Quarantine Planet (which means that its dangerous as fuck), the remaining crew decides to land.

The crew dies as the ship gets magnificently snapped into two, and only Raige and Kitai survive… but Raige is beat up. Their only hope of survival is to shoot a distress signal into space and guess where the beacon is? Yep, on the other half of the ship, which fell a convenient 100 km away. As a Cadet who is not a Ranger yet, Kitai has to retrieve the beacon and shoot the distress call or they both die. He is only equipped a versatile cutlass, a med kit, a communications device, and an awesome suit that can change color depending on his status. He is up against a loose Ursa that was on transport and whatever the hell Earth has in store for him. Will he survive?

Yeah, I’m not going to provide a full synopsis. You have IMDB for that. Now, on to what I thought about the movie.

The graphics were pretty stunning. I was always a big fan of sci-fi, and I just love the Mass Effect-ish touch in this movie, especially the hardware and the GUI of everything. I was a bit disappointed to see that after years of technological advances and they STILL don’t have photon blasters or light sabers. But, the cutlass is pretty cool. Every bladed weapon known to mankind stored in a 50-60 cm rod. And it has two ends. You gotta admit that’s awesome. The graphics of the mutated animals were also cool. The Ursa is well… pretty vulgar and disgusting, just as you would expect from an abomination. Oh, there’s also a lot of graphic blood. Did I also mention that Kitai’s victory is awesome as fuck?

The story… is pretty average. It’s a typical “child enters manhood by slaying a giant nemesis and going to hell and back”. Nothing too flashy, especially if you’ve watched a lot of movies. But it’s the suspense that you want. The moments before the Ursa attacks… when that son of a bitch Ursa makes a sudden appearance on the screen that made me lose 1 year of life… yeah, that’s what you should expect. That is, if you manage to get through the rest of the movie, which was pretty standard.

There are some cool and deep messages in the movie, especially nearing the half part, when Raige gives a lecture to his son about fear. I can’t recall the exact words because it’s a crime to record a movie. Try Google… or just go watch it already. You won’t regret it.

I picked this over Man of Steel because I’m not a big fan of DC Comics, but I regret skipping Star Trek: Into Darkness.

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