Will Smith has been one of the most famous worldwide actors the last 20 years. Jaden Smith has been famous for being Will Smith’s son who disrespected The Karate Kid with that ill-timed remake where you watch him whine and pout. In After Earth, just like Earth is portrayed, it’s quiet. Too quiet, I just wish Jaden would have followed suit.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Peter Suschitzky’s Cinematography is terrific to look upon with the nicely shot locales of the film such as the forests of Northern California captured in awe-inspiring fashion. That’s it for the good stuff.
An intriguing premise that goes absolutely nowhere and leaves us bored and many unanswered questions. It’s Earth 2077 (The same year as Oblivion was) where humans have moved to a planet called Nova Prime and they run in white space suits. Rangers are their military, their protectors. I found this to be immensely dull and something out of a better sci-fi film. What a shock that it was co-written by M. Night Shyamalan, the same man who believed wind would kill us. Thanks, The Happening.
Hey, we all do dumb things. Don’t we, Newsweek?
Let’s get to the elephant in the room and that is Jaden Smith. In insulting fashion, nepotism is brought to an ugly new level. Jaden is now 0 for 2 in the acting department. Just because he’s Will Smith’s son doesn’t automatically mean he’s as talented as his charismatic dad. Watching him doing a monologue was flat out hilarious. He just pouts and whines like a kid at a store throwing a tantrum. I’m surprised he wasn’t in the fetal position by minute 30. I found myself laughing more times than I did in Identity Thief. However, it wasn’t just Will Smith’s emotionless Terminator-like performance or Smith’s charisma-free performance. Come on, isn’t this what we have auditions and acting schools for?
I don’t need acting lessons! Get those brochures away from me. I’ll get my dad.
What the hell was with that dialogue? I couldn’t believe some of these words coming out of the Smiths. They sounded like they took bad inspiration from Rocky V. I later found out that it involved Scientology beliefs, which I find offensive that they tried to bring that to an audience that is paying for entertainment, not religious advice. Wrong way of showing it, Smiths. If I want, I’ll read L. Ron Hubbard again. Yes, because that worked out so well before, eh John Travolta?
I wonder if Michael Bay still wants to do Bad Boys III?
Shyamalan has been known to slow things down to discover the true mystery of his films like he did successfully in The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and not so much with The Village, The Happening, and Lady in the Water. However, when we aren’t invested in the characters and see more bad camera shots than an dad working a camcorder for the first time, it comes off as boring, trite, and time wasting.
Cliches galore. Get them while they’re hot. Jaden play Kitai, a cadet that has the best scores of the class, but for some unknown reason it’s not enough to get a promotion. Your dad is a general, I’m sure he can pull some strings (like he did to put you in this movie). We are never emotionally invested with the supporting characters like Zoe Kravitz playing Kitai’s sister, who ironically was the best part of the movie. She actually showed emotion and love to her family and even risked her life…sadly lost. That alone should motivate Kitai to fight instead of pouting for 90 minutes.
Also, we have visual effects gone horribly wrong. This is when a film is so boring, badly acted, and annoying that you basically are out of the realm to sustain yourself by enjoying fantasy, like for a movie like Fast and Furious 6, where they actually knew what they were doing. I’m going to nitpick at Kitai jumping off the cliff and flying like Batman in The Dark Knight. Where the heck did we learn that Kitai could fly, and not just fly but dive, dip, get slapped by a vulture, and continue steadily? COME ON! There was also a pod in a flashback scene that made me shake my head in disbelief and think back to that damn awful ending from Men in Black II. I didn’t need that, Will.
After Earth is one of the many films to already fill up my worst films list for 2013. With its boring direction, charisma-free performances, bad CGI, and an annoying storyline with Scientology beliefs punching us in the face, After Earth will make you feel ripped off and annoyed. At least you get a unintentional good laugh that will have you smiling on your way out of the theater. I had one as I said, “I hate you, Shyamalan.” See? I’m still smiling.
Take a Drink: when you see Kitai pout and whine
Do a Shot: when you find yourself laughing at the awful dialogue
Down a 32 oz: once you hear “Fear is a choice”
Shotgun a Beer: when Kitai is in the pod