There are decades of backstory to the new M. Night Shyamalan science fiction picture, After Earth and you’ll get walked through a whole load of it in this pleasantly zippy viral video.
The story of After Earth apparently originated with Will Smith (so-called “master structuralist”) , and the film was scripted by Gary Whitta, Shyamalan and Stephen Gaghan. It comes with this blurb, which will help you understand some of the above clip:
One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith).
When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.
I’m rooting for Shyamalan. I think he’s actually a very capable, skilled filmmaker, at least when he’s working from a well-developed script. After Earth could well prove to be his “return to form” or at least popular acceptance.
I do hope, though, that we’re not being set up for the same twist pay-off as in Planet of the Apes. There’ll be bloody riots.