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After Earth

Danger is real. Fear is a choice. 

Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan 
Starring: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo  
An image from After Earth

Over a thousand years in the future, humanity is at war with the S’krell; aliens whose most lethal weapons are creatures who hunt by sensing fear. Our only defence: the Ranger Corps. They are those with the ability to hide their fear so they cannot be detected, and are led by General Cypher Raige (Will Smith). Despite first discovering this technique of suppressing fears, known as ‘ghosting’, Cypher is unable to teach the technique to his own son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), and views him as a great disappointment.

When Kitai accompanies his father on his final mission, their spaceship is caught in an asteroid storm and they are forced to crash-land on the nearest planet. As the ship disintegrates upon re-entry, the general is mortally wounded and the rescue beacon falls far from the survivors. They must now rely on Kitai to retrieve the beacon and save both of their lives. However, it gets worse. The planet they landed on was humanity’s old home of Earth. Abandoned for over a thousand years, who knows what dangers might surround them; what predators might lie in wait?

After Earth is a stunning film visually, especially the technology. The shots of space are simply breathtaking, and the Earth itself has a haunting and isolated beauty. However, for all this, what is most enjoyable about this film is the chemistry between the two main characters, real-life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith. The film is, at its core, the story of a son trying to become the man his father would be proud of, yet is still a highly entertaining action film.

The perfect popcorn flick for a Saturday night.

Natalie Tyldesley

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Autumn Term (digital)