Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mom in the Middle Movies...After Earth

Caution: spoiler alert!

After Earth poster
So last night hubs and I took the kids to a movie. Nothing odd about this, because we see a lot of movies, especially now that the kids are old enough to see movies rated older than 'G'. Last night's adventure was After Earth--a PG sci fi adventure story starring Will Smith and his son Jaden as (surprise!) a father and son team who end up on a scary future Earth with all kinds of man-eating monsters waiting to gobble them up. It was opening night, and the theatre was not full, partially because the Disney extravaganza Epic was opening just down the hall, and partially because of bad reviews.

Anyway, about ten minutes into the movie, I was just happily munching away on my popcorn when my daughter (who is a Lord of the Rings FANATIC and a music maniac) starts up a running commentary on the similarities between this movie and LOTR. Kitai, the son, sets off on a quest and looks like Frodo climbing up a rocky slope. The nasty baboon creatures are like black riders and their chase ends in a river which he crosses to escape. A huge eagle swoops down and takes him off to her nest. Kitai dreams of a beautiful girl (his sister) telling him to wake up. A volcano that looks suspiciously like Mount Doom pops up in the distance... even the background music has a decidedly LOTR flare...with a few bars, according to my hyper-aware daughter, bordering on identical.

These comments were peppered with highly critical discussion on the scientific unlikelihood of the movie...How is it that Kitai and his super cool dad, Cypher were the only survivors when a spaceship crash lands on earth? How could Kitai adjust so fast and take off running in the increased gravity? Even my own medical background kicked in, curious how anyone, even super-cool ranger guys, could survive severe femoral artery damage for more than an hour...let alone a few days.

I'm a person who watches movies for entertainment, and I'll admit, sitting there sipping my huge Coke and getting popcorn stuck between my teeth, I just wanted to get lost in the story line. The comments from my lovely daughter are not a new thing, but it hit me how accurate they were. I actually liked the movie...But even I started to see the LOTR similarities. And the final scenes...well, you'll have to tell me what you think, but perhaps the Smiths could have been more original. The buzz on the movie is that it is based on Scientology teachings but I'm with my daughter. It's like a bad LOTR copycat.

I give it one thumb up and one thumb down.


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