The reviews, most of them anyway, have been terrible. However, I am not sure what movie the so-called critics were watching, furthermore, what the agenda is for the heavy-handed upbraiding towards Hollywood's Golden Boy. For twenty years now, Will Smith has made us laugh at and cheer for his corny relatable nature with aliens and otherworldly cinematic endeavors. Even more, he has proven himself a cash cow, unbeatable in first week movie ticket sales for what is for some, 18 years of child support payments and two years of celebration. So what has changed... perhaps nothing, perhaps everything.
The movie I saw chronicled a Black man and his son through accidental journey back to Earth, the most perilous of all places for human life. Everything, warns Smith's character, General Cypher Raige, has been evolved to destroy them. Funny, with the current situation going on in Chicago, now sadly known as "Chiraq", unemployment at an all time high, prison sentences as easy to catch as the common cold, food deserts, and disease, is that not similar to the current state of being for the Black man on Earth?
Nonetheless, Smith's character is one of the only human men in existence who is able to ghost, that is, evade a ghastly looking creature that can smell your fear. This creatures victims are hung on trees, displayed for examples like the Strange Fruit Billie Holiday sang about so many years ago. General Raige's son, and likewise Smith's son Jaden, Kitai in the movie, is a ranger hopeful, and otherwise adolescent boy both eager to win his father's approval and simultaneously escape his shadow, is set to escape the call of death alongside his father in this steady, inspiring, futuristic foray.
After Earth has been criticized for its alleged pushing of Scientology dogma which frankly, I find, laughable. Seriously folks? Every Friday, as sure as sunrise, a new movie is released, and this has been so since the inception of cinema. For years, movies have pushed drunken, drug infested, racist, sexist, Whites-only, dogmas on viewers and for the most part, many of these messages are so subliminal they are not even caught. Oh, and don't even get me started on television... So now, when Smith decides to write a story, star in its movie, along with his son, produce that movie with his Black partner, and his Black wife and Black brother-in- law, the movie gets shunned....for pushing an agenda? Even if he was, would he not be protected under free speech and artistic freedom, not to mention the legions of other films that promote religious dogmas?
I will say this, Black people, this is what you have been asking for, aching for, waiting to see. A movie written by a Black person, with a complete family, yes Smith's character is married to a sister, with a great storyline, metaphysical elements, fatherhood, unquestioned manhood, no unnecessary violence, no wince-worthy cursing, and Black people that make to the future, alive. For all you that spray vitriol on every movie starring Jezebels, mammies, bucks, Uncle Toms, Sapphires, Tragic Mulattoes, and Stallions, and for all of you whose stomach turns every time you see a 6 foot man with a high-ass and gray lace front wig, here is your offering. Go see it. Black folks finally make it to the future, outlast Earth even, and we are not sad or dead. GO SEE THE MOVIE, its worth it.