Review by Eric
Will and Jaden Smith star in this sci-fi epic about a father and son trying to survive on Earth, but not the Earth that you and I know. As soon as the movie starts we find out that the people of Earth have all but destroyed the planet and have to find a new home. The people of Earth select an elite force known as Rangers to find this new planet. The new planet is known as Nova Prime. This seems like the perfect place to start again, except there is some alien race that also wants the planet and creates monsters known as Ursas that hunt humans by smelling the pheromones released by fear. Cyphers (Will Smith) is known as a ghost because he shows no fear and the Ursas can not see him.
Kitai (Jaden Smith) is young teenager who wants so badly to be a Ranger like his father, but he suffered a traumatic event when he was younger and cannot control his fear. He also resents his father for not being around and not being there the day of the event.
In an effort to save their relationship Cyphers invites Kitai on his next mission. A meteor shower hits the ship and they crash land on Earth. Every life form on Earth has evolved to destroy humans. Kitai and Cyphers are the only survivors and Cyphers is critically wounded. Kitai must travel 100 kilometers to the emergency beacon that is their only hope of being saved. Kitai must face all of his fears to save his father’s life.
This movie was an amazing adventure to be a part of. The special effects were subtle, but everything felt real. I was worried at first about Will and Jaden being the only real cast in the movie, but it was presented very well. They weave flash backs in with the film at appropriate times to fill you in on why Kitai or Cyphers feels the way they do about the situation. It seems as if as soon as you ask yourself why there is a flash back and you now know why. I was shocked to find that it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan because there wasn’t his famous giant twist in the end.
One of my favorite moments in the movie was this quote by Cyphers, “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
This really stuck out to me. It really challenged some of my fears that I have in everyday life. This doesn’t mean that I will be getting on an elevator anytime soon, but it does help me realize that I fear the danger I think they pose more than the box of death they are. It also reminded me of Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry [fear] about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” How often do we fear or worry about the future? How often do we allow that fear to blind us and keep us from seeing what today brings?
It is only by not fearing what might happen that Kitai is able to move on in his mission. Once he sets himself free from his past and stops fearing what that mean for his future he is able to be the man that he wants to be.
This is a great movie for the whole family. There is little to no language and the violence is minimal. It has a rating of PG-13 and I give it 4/5.