Analysis of M. Night Shyamalan´s After Earth Essay

Analysis of M. Night Shyamalan´s After Earth Essay

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“Danger is real, but fear is a choice.” As intriguing and captivating as this catch phrase sounds, the film as a whole may not fit that classification. While M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth (2013) is ineffective in reaching some of its audiences as anticipated, others seem to have enjoyed the movie thoroughly. The film opens with a promising story where humans are forced to escape a polluted Earth inhabited by an alien race that is trained to exterminate them and retreat to Nova Prime, a new home, to find refuge. General Cypher Rage, played by Will Smith, plays a fearless warrior who has superior “ghosting” ability to mask his fear which makes him invulnerable to the aliens. His son Kitai, played by Jaden Smith, is an eager cadet wanting to follow his father’s footsteps. Cypher takes Kitai along with him on his next mission, hoping to find some quality time to spend with his son. However, a crash landing forces Kitai and his father, Cypher, to be deserted on Earth a few thousand years after humanity’s escape. Kitai is called upon to make the journey to the back half of the aircraft located 100 kilometers away and retrieve the beacon himself. Ultimately, Kitai saves the day and brings back the beacon safely and achieves self-realization by conquering his fears. This time around, Shyamalan fails to make a strong impression on his audiences previously having directed box office hits including The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. With moments of true greatness and exceptional performances, After Earth by M. Night Shyamalan still ultimately fails to live up to its hype due to a mediocre plot and misleading themes, while still being one of 2013’s most captivating films to discuss.
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While After Earth by M. Night Shyamalan could have achieved more, it has settled as just another movie at the theatres. The film fails to reach the audiences because of a mediocre plot and conflicting messages, regardless of an appreciable performance by the actors. Even though the film’s theme contradicts itself through the course of the movie, the acting rescues it from being a complete flop at the box office. If audiences are looking for a movie with a slow paced plot, this is the movie to watch; if not, then audiences should look somewhere else. Even though there is a lot of meaningless running around, audiences witness a well performed rite of passage for a boy who must conquer his fears and feelings of insecurities. Shyamalan has received great praises along with insulting comments for his work throughout the years, After Earth stands somewhere in between.

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