Suspension of Disbelief

Tonight my Beloved and I rented “After Earth,” the Will Smith/Jaden Smith futuristic tale detailing our deep space colonization after we – humans – destroy the earth.

Special effects? Adequate. Acting? Wooden. Plot line? Snoozefest.

Martin and I see a LOT of movies. A LOT. I have seen the same story told 100 times, in 100 different scenarios and in 100 better ways. Sorry, Will…After EarthSo, all those criticisms aside, this movie made the same fatal mistake that so many “set-in-the-future” films make – a totally unbelievable mismatch of technologies. Let me explain.

SPOILER ALERT! I will be sharing details of the plot, so if you “don’t wanna’ know,” stop reading.

So, in After Earth, Will Smith and his real-life son crash land on future earth – the world we humans all but destroyed, forcing our colonization on a distant planet. Interesting premise, again, done 100 time before, and better. The thing that drives me crazy with this movie, as with so many sci-fi/futuristic films, is the seemingly disjointed evolution of technologies. Let me explain…

In After Earth – a film that boasts genetically-altered creatures that hunt humans using pheromones, a weapon that can “shape-shift” into (I think) 22 different weapons, a space ship that can jump into hyper-space, a hand-held emergency beacon that, held aloft, launches up and beyond the earth’s atmosphere to send a rescue beacon across the galaxy – well, you get the idea. Humans are smart. They have amazing technology and advanced science. And yet, what happens during the course of the movie? Will Smith’s character almost dies from a broken leg bone and some internal bleeding.

I mean, c’mon – in the same movie that features a supremely-effective anti-toxin shot that is delivered directly into the heart via some sort of really cool needles, we have one of the main characters dying from complications from a broken leg? And – to make it even more ridiculous – Will Smith’s character attempts self-surgery to bypass a vein using a standard-issue horror film scalpel and some clear plastic tubing that looks like it belongs on a fish tank air pump. It was sad…Space Ships

Don’t you think that a race that has achieved deep space travel would have something better in their “medicine kit” than gauze bandages, iodine and wooden splints? When I see mismatches in movies like this, it makes me sad – and it is an insult to intelligent movie-goers. It’s the same as when we humans travel light years across space and then fight giant alien monsters with 22 caliber pistols – like guns with bullets! Really? Hollywood – you MUST do better.spud gun

Listen, I get that “suspension of disbelief” is a necessary act to immerse oneself in a movie. But when you have someone transporting from planet to planet, halfway across the universe in like six seconds, than pulling out a handgun to fight bad guys? No way. I cannot “suspend” my disbelief that far. That request requires advanced technology…

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