Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by Caleeb Pinkett
Jada Pinkett Smith
Screenplay by Gary Whitta
M. Night Shyamalan
Story by Will Smith
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Peter Suschitzky
Editing by Steven Rosenblum
Studio Overbrook Entertainment
Blinding Edge Pictures
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
May 31, 2013 (North America and Korea)
7, 2013 (worldwide)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Christ almighty, why do I continue to subject myself to M. Night
Shyamalan movies? Perhaps itís because inwardly, I want him to
improve. I want him to reach the heights he reached when he first
exploded on the scene and before his obviously overblown ego got in
the way. I want the guy not to suck but, for some reason, he insists
After Earth is the latest example of his slow and painful
slide into Shitsville. In it, Will Smith is a General in Space Army
sometime in the future when mankind has left Earth and has gone to the
stars to fuck things up there too. The Fresh General is a cold and
detached man thanks to his ability to fight aliens who attack people
showing emotion (no, Iím not making this up) and, on the verge of
retirement, he takes a trip with his estranged son played by Jaden
Smith. Of course, before they get to wherever the hell they were
going, they crash in the most dangerous place everÖ EarthÖ Which is
full of dangerous animals now for some goddamn reason.
the other M. Night Shyamalan movies, After Earth isnít that bad. Itís
an almost passable mess as opposed to his latest feats of fuckery. It
could be that heís on his way back up, or it could be that The
Last Airbender must makes everything else look good by
comparison. Who am I kidding? The Last Airbender makes AIDs
look good by comparison.
So, After Earth is kind of
sort of passable. It is by no means a good movie, but it is something
tolerable. The real bitch of After Earth is that it is really not that
far from being average, but Jaden Smith kills it. It must be nice to
get a job by nepotism, otherwise this monotone mutant wouldnít be able
to get work at a Magic Time MachineÖ as a cook.
If you donít get that joke, Google it.
Jaden Smith is so awful
in this role that the human language has yet to come up with a word to
adequately express his badness. To do so would be like trying to
explain what the color red looks like to a blind person. Going through
the movie with some of the most pathetic puppy dog eyes you ever have
seen, every goddamn word that comes out of his mouth is whiney and
Smith, who I actually do like as an actor, doesnít do much better.
Playing cold and detached is one thing, making your character an
emotionless asshole is another Ė itís a choice. Perhaps Mr. Smith
really wasnít in to this movie? Maybe he didnít care? Maybe he should
goddamn deal with it because he makes millions of dollars a movie and
should fucking try harder.
So, youíve got a story with more
holes than a screen door, a leading man who doesnít appear to give two
shits, and then Jaden Smith who is to acting as turtles are to auto
racing. In theory, what we have is a complete disaster and, yesÖ it is
a disaster, but not a complete one. After Earth is bad, but
itís not a completely terrible movie. Unlike M. Nightís moronic piles
of movie manure, this one at least has its moments.
The special effects are nice, itís got some okay action, and the ideas
in the movie are better than average so those things save it from
being a complete turd. As it stands, After Earth is a partial
turd Ė a Shyamalan cinematic poop nugget.
And yeah, itís about
as much fun to watch as that makes it sound.