Review: Will Smith is known to do films with a bang – grand movies of sweeping scale where he is the focal point of attention. Not so in this one. Here, he takes the back seat and hands Jaden the baton (obvious metaphors abound; he gives the kid his own saber at the commencement of the quest) to be the main man.
The film is set hundreds of years into the future, where mankind has been evacuated from Earth; a planet now inhabited by human-eating nasties. Cypher Raige (Smith) and his son Kitai Raige (Jaden) are forced to crash-land. The film’s plot bears an uncanny resemblance to a video-game where the player has to go the distance from point ‘A’ to ‘B’ (100 km, in this case) in ‘X’ amount of time. Along the way he battles monsters of increasing strength. There are health packs too, like bonus points. And in the end, there is a ‘boss fight’ with a hideous alien critter called the Ursa. That’s it, game over.
Cypher maintains a radio link with Kitai as the harsh patriarch at times and the voice of reason-cum-vendor of wisdom and encouragement at other times. Again it’s like how a computer-programmed narrator is in a video-game. At some point, they lose contact and Kitai’s moment of reckoning arrives. It’s about Kitai having to prove himself to his dad.