The special effects are good. Now there is an introduction for a review. Sadly my thought rapidly descend from here onwards.
Over the years, the man who once gave the world the brilliant The Sixth Sense has developed a seventh sense for how to send everyone down to Sleepy Town.
Though After Earth marks a decided improvement on Shyamalan’s last effort, that bottomless pit of bafflement The Last Airbender, it is still a flat-out snooze of a movie.
Can’t be totally blaming the M-Night for this dud outcome, however. If only because After Earth is the conceptual brainchild of its marquee drawcard, Will Smith.
It was he who came up with the original yarn about a future where Earth has long been emptied of all signs of human life.
That is until a father-son combo of Earthlings who now reside elsewhere in the galaxy are forced to crash-land on their old home planet.
The dad, Cypher (Will Smith), has broken both of his legs upon impact. So it is up to his teenage boy Kitai (Jaden ‘Son of Will’ Smith) to venture forth on an arduous trek to find the missing emergency beacon that will save them from certain death.
I am probably making this indecipherably inert action flick seem far more exciting than it actually is. Any potential to raise a pulse as Kitai does battle with mutant wildlife of the future is undercut by an overwhelming atmosphere of dullness.
There are short chains of scenes that are undeniably captivating. Some of Shyamalan’s depictions of an emptied Earth as nature’s ultimate obstacle course are truly the efforts of an inspired creative mind.
But when so much of After Earth is driven by Will Smith robotically ordering his kid around by courtesy of a fancy camera phone, such glimmers of hope are merely a mirage.
To cap off a mostly misguided affair, an immobilised Will Smith means that this is really a Jaden Smith movie. Unfortunately, the youngster just does not have the dramatic smarts to carry a heavyweight picture at this early stage of his career.
My Rating: 2.5/10
Director: M. Night Shyamalan (The Last Airbender)
Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Kravitz