M. Night Shyamalan After Earth Movie Review

M. Night Shyamalan After Earth Movie Review

Sometimes when it comes to a movie’s success, everything boils down to a single name that will catapult the movie to the top of the charts…or the bottom of the barrel. This adventure, sci-fi film has a bit of a double standard going. First, we got one of the biggest movie star celebrities: Will Smith and, one of the most despised directors around: M. Night Shyamalan. Who is going to rub off of whom here: The director who has successfully pissed everyone off with his increasingly crappier movies, or the celebrity super star that has successfully earned everyone’s attention and appraisal? Let’s find out as we look into “After Earth.”

After Earth Movie Review

Earth’s destruction has forced all of humanity to evacuate the planet and head off into space to try and find a livable planet to call home. Nova Prime is the best chance for human life to thrive. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to try and make a relationship work with his estranged son Kitai (Jaden Smith). However, an asteroid monkey wrenches their reunion plans and dumps them both on a savage, monster animal loaded planet Earth. The general is crippled in the crash and needs medical aid to survive, which forces his son Kitai to traverse the dangerous plane Earth to get a rescue beacon to save his father’s life.

I love Will Smith. All the hype, success, big paychecks, everything associated with him is well earned. Smith has proven his name is easily translatable to cash. However, certain factors can still occur in his movies that can actually hinder him from generating a decent profit for movie studios. The biggest factor here is Shyamalan. He’s had a major suckfest record the past 3 or 4 movies, even films that associated with his name have resulted in groans and moans from movie goers everywhere. Another factor that hinders Smith’s success in a movie: barely having him IN the movie. This movie cripples Smith both literally and emotionally, leaving 95% of the focus and attention to be placed on his son. Contrary to popular belief, Jayden is NOT his dad; he doesn’t even come close to measuring up to the star power his father’s name is associated with.

I’m not saying he’s devoid of talent, his past work has proven he does have acting chops…just not very good ones. This film is all about visuals, spectacles and beautiful CGI monsters and animals to distract you from the fact that our real, flesh and blood human actors are more cold and lifeless than the computer generated critters populating the screen. Not only does Smith spend all his screen time in a spaceship, he’s cold, robotic and totally devoid of any of the emotional charm and wit we’ve come to love and expect him to show off. Only M. Night can take something amazing and churn it into a total crapfest (look at “The Last Airbender” for further proof).

The concept behind this film is interesting and different, yet any originality this film had is made meaningless but the constant boredom that slowly plays out through the weak script and half assed plot points. Nothing works here; it’s all dull and devoid of any talent or imagination. The cast is basically boiled down to an emotionally bankrupt Will Smith, and a talent stunted Jayden Smith who is incapable of leading this film or impressing us (or even his character’s father for that matter). You’d think a scripted, strained father son relationship based on a real life father and son would work. Unfortunately, not even the Smiths can overpower M. Night’s lackluster legacy.

A director needs to seriously put forth sincere effort in order to make Will Smith look bad, or to put him in a movie that actually flops at the box office. However, I can’t honestly say M. Night put such effort into making Smith look bad because that would imply he spent more than 10 minutes putting this script together, and after seeing this film, I didn’t see a scrap of effort put into any aspect of this movie. As enticing as the Will Smith name is, do not let his star power blind you to the heap of garbage your about to fall head first into.

“After Earth” is as lively and enticing as the hollow computer generated animals in this film; always disappointing and always reminding us what REAL human emotions used to look like. Jayden Smith, Will Smith, doesn’t matter how many or few Smiths you got in a movie; M. Night can turn any star’s super power into box office kryptonite. The cast phones it in; Jayden needs more training in spotlight leading, boredom sets in long before enjoyment and the CGI animals look more a big piece of POS. Go see another movie at your local theater or go rent a GODO Will Smith movie like “Independence Day” or “I, Robot.” Let’s remind Hollywood why we don’t want M. Night as a director; and with every movie he makes, he gives us another reminder.

I give “After Earth” 1 star out of 4.

One Response

  1. william dunson Says:

    I am a big fan of will smith movies where I have watched most of his starring appearance. This time he tied up with his son on an abandoned planet named earth where they met furious creatures large enough to eat a human in single sip, which was thrilling. I will suggest watching this movie if you are fan of adventurous types.






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