The worst. movie. this year.
I should have known we were in trouble when I saw the director is M. Night Shyamalan. A colleague muttered to me, “He couldn’t direct himself out of a traffic jam”. Shyamalan had a great debut with “The Sixth Sense” and then it was pretty much downhill from there, with each film ending with a twist. He didn’t even both with his trademark surprise ending this time. The conclusion was never in doubt, thus, no suspense.
This attempt at a family sic-fier is a dismal failure. Like Tom Cruise’s “Oblivion”, “After Earth” begins with life on another planet after disasters ruined Earth. So why is it Earth here looks like the paradise that is Hawaii?? (A minor flaw when you add them all up). Like the wonderful “Pursuit Of Happyness” 7 years ago, Smith teams up with his son, now 14 year old Jayden. This time, Jayden is left to carry the movie and he’s just not up to it. Most of this movie splits up Jayden and his dad, with a charmless Smith directing his son on an abandoned earth on a mission to find a beacon to save them after their space craft crashes on Earth, following a not-very-thrilling meteor drilling. Even less impressive are the beasts Jayden has to fight off. I have to say, I had to fight off sleep through most of this dreadful work.