Like I've said before, I hate writing a bad review, but there's no way around it when it comes to M. Night Shyamalan's latest disappointment, After Earth...
Here's my full review:
After Earth was directed by M. Night Shayamalan (The 6th Sense) and stars Will Smith (I Am Legend) and his son Jaden Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness). It is a science-fiction film that takes place 1000 years after mankind evacuated earth because it had become uninhabitable. When a spacecraft crashes on earth, a young boy must trek through the hostile environment and avoid a host of deadly creatures in order to save himself and his father.
This story was actually written by Will Smith and was adapted into a screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli). The premise of this film was nothing new, but I will say the storyline did have some unique qualities. Unfortunately, those qualities were not enough to turn this movie into a winner. Poor foreshadowing and overused flashbacks made this movie predictable and dull.
I felt that Will Smith was trying very hard to turn the drab dialogue into a good performance, but all the good acting in the world can't fix a script as bad as this one. Jaden Smith, who I really liked in The Karate Kid and The Pursuit of Happyness, wasn't very good in this film. You can probably chalk that up to the poor screenplay as well. The thing I disliked like most about Will and Jaden's performances was their strange and distracting accents. Nearly every line they said felt fake and in turn, spoiled most of the emotional scenes in the film.
I thought the CGI in this film looked very cartoonish and was quite disappointing. Over the last few years CGI has made some major leaps and bounds, but it seemed like they were using an outdated technology in this movie.
I will now focus on the positive points of this film.
First and foremost, this movie isn't very long with a running time of only 100 minutes. To be honest, that was probably my favorite thing about it. Aside from that, there were a few comical spots, a couple of jumpy moments, and two emotionally touching scenes throughout the movie.
I'm at a loss as to who will enjoy this film. It's too gory for young children and too juvenile for most teenagers. I don't know where the target was, but it was missed badly in this film.
I will offer once piece of advice to the parents out there... If your teenager does want to see this film and you have to drive them to the movie, it might be a good idea to go to a theater at a mall. That way you can do some shopping instead of having to sit through this one.
I find myself being saddened that M. Night Shyamalan is making a habit of delivering disappointing movies after starting his career out with such promise. Unfortunately, this one wasn't ruined by a strange twist at the end. It just simply wasn't very good from the start.
As much as it pains me to sound so negative...
My grade for this film: D+
I'd love to hear your thoughts:
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