Sunday, 9 June 2013

After Earth - The Review

M Night Shyamalan. There was a time that name was synonymous with must see movies, such as The 6th Sense, Unbreakable, and The Village.
But in recent years he's had a hard time coming up with the goods, dropping the ball with Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender.
After Earth, his new movie, is one of those vanity projects A-list stars like Will Smith get to make when they have enough box office muscle.
It plays out like a video game; Guide Jaden Smith to his crashed spaceship's tail section miles through savage wilderness while dad Will scowls a lot at the first crash site and barely moves thanks to a knackered leg.
MNS's last movie had the Avatar bit removed in case it confused viewers of James Cameron's film. However, the influence of Avatar is obvious. Exotic jungle; Swooping action scenes; Hero guided by another via hi-tech gizmos.
I'd expected more of a car crash than a ship crash movie, but despite clunky dialogue and Jaden not having the charisma to pull off his leading role, this is engaging enough.
However, it would have been better with Will as the central figure. He may want to project his brilliance into his son, but sadly the tech isn't available to synthesise charisma, and this oh so serious movie needs a chunk of that to work. Sadly it just gets by.

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