This movie stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as father and son soldiers. The basic story line is that Earthlings wasted the planet’s resources and thus colonized another planet a thousand years ago. Cypher (Will Smith) is a cold, emotionless high-ranking officer and combat veteran who has decided to call it quits when he returns home and sees his son striving so hard to be like him. Kitai (Jaden Smith) is the creative and sensitive boy who only wants his father’s approval. He tries to win that approval by trying to become a Ranger, like his father. Cypher invites Kitai on his last trip which ends with them crash-landing on a quarantined planet, Earth. Kitai must save his dying father.
This movie, to me, is what a good sci-fi story should be. It’s a story of human relationships based in a sci-fi world or with a sci-fi background. You start out with a father who has been away from home too much, but knows it and wants to change. You’ve got a son that just wants his Dad’s approval. What do you do? You put them together on a camping trip and let them work it out. Sort of.
The chemistry between the two is great, though they are apart most of the movie. The love between the two is juxtaposed with an old emotional wound that hasn’t properly healed.
One of the first things you will notice about this film is the language. The language of a thousand years from now is a little stilted based in military jargon. In a way, it conveys more because each word means more than a phrase. It might be hard to get used to, but it lends realism to the movie.
You’ll also notice that though we have space travel, the ships look a little flimsy. Maybe a plastic-steel hybrid is what they use to build these things with, but they get the job done. It’s just a little strange to see something sparse flying in outer space.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and consider it a definite addition to my library when it comes out on DVD. Go see it and let me know what you think! Seen it already? Well, what are your thoughts?
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