AE: APOCALYPSE EARTH
AE: Apocalypse Earth comes from Thunder Levin (apparently his real name). Levin has written several other Asylum films, including 200 M.P.H. (2011), Atlantic Rim (2013) and most famously Sharknado (2013) and sequels, as well as written-directed the non-Asylum Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood (2008) and The Asylums American Battleship (2012) and Atlantic Rim (2013).
AE: Apocalypse Earth feels like one of the edited mash-ups of other films/videoclips that you get on YouTube something that Thunder Levin has slung together by combining scenes and plot elements from every other film he has enjoyed. Less so than After Earth, the bulk of AE: Apocalypse Earth has been taken from Avatar (2009) the planetary adventure in which we see the hero (Adrian Paul) go native, engage in a romance with a native girl with striped green camouflage skin and how together they inspire her people to an uprising against their oppressors. There are a bunch of scenes/elements from a great many other science-fiction films the aliens hunting people from behind invisibility shields from Predator (1987); the crash of the ship from orbit just as people are coming out of hypersleep from Pitch Black (2000); the alien invasion in the opening scenes looks like a cheaper version of the one in Skyline (2010); while the android TIM and his contractionless delivery has been copied directly from Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94).
Thunder Levin even borrows the basic set-up of the film [PLOT SPOILERS] from Planet of the Apes (1968) the crashlanding on an alien planet, the survivors being hunted by alien overlords and especially the twist ending as to where they are, even right down to Mount Rushmore in lieu of the Statue of Liberty and the results are groan worthy. One of the strangest of Thunder Levins borrowings is his constant references throughout to The Wizard of Oz (1939) which should be fairly obvious when the film has a hero named Frank Baum. The android TIM is given to come out with lines like You are right. I have no heart, while Adrian Paul even gets to deliver Theres no place like home as the last line of the film.
Mostly, AE: Apocalypse Earth is cheap. The effects vary between a basic competence and a series of shabbily unconvincing giant bugs and lizards. Levin stages battle scenes but is trying to replicate Avatars epic-sized action scenes with about only a dozen people running around the woods. Adrian Paul is an actor who projects focused intent and handsome solidity with everything he does, no matter how cheap the surroundings, and is okay in the lead. The second-billed Richard Grieco, a long way from his teen heartthrob days and looking as though the Hollywood party lifestyle had taken its toll, gives a performance in which he seems to be doing a minimal amount to actually participate in the film.