After Earth is the upcoming directorial project from the tragic director that is M. Night Shyamalan.
It’s fair to say that no directors career has gone down quite as systematically as M. Night‘s. It seems like with every movie he releases, he strives to hit a new low as far as film-making is concerned. Just when you think “There’s no way the quality of his films could get any lower” BAM! He hit’s us with The Last Airbender.
This chart demonstrates all too well my opinion on how After Earth is going to do. However, I’m too quick to give M. Night Shyamalan the benefit of a doubt because he is the guy behind two movies I really love: The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I constantly hold high hopes that maybe he is a great director going through a bit of a rough patch… a really, really rough patch.
M. Night opinions aside, let’s take a look at the trailer.
I hate to say it, but this looks bad. The first 30 seconds or so seem promising, but then it just turns into I Am Legend meets Avatar. The biggest alarm bell for me is just how epic it looks; if there’s one thing M. Night has proved to us, it’s that he does not work well with epic.
It’s obviously going to be about the spectacle – because the plot is about as original and inspired as waking up in the morning. A few survivors crash land on a dangerous planet, filled with various unknown creatures, and they must overcome the odds to survive. What planet is it? It’s only fucking Earth. What is it with film-makers trying to make post-mankind earth look so bad?
The whole “Danger is real, Fear is a choice” is quite overdone, too. The whole film is practically marketed around it, which I’m guessing means it will be the story of how a cowardly young child evolves into a brave hero or some bollocks like that. I hate the line so much because it seems like something M. Night would write, thinking he’s being really philosophical and clever, but in reality it’s just a tacky line that screams GCSE psychology.
I just think this movie doesn’t really have much hope of being anything other than the next big step down in M. Night‘s career. Putting aside the fact it looks like a bad Avatar clone, or the fact that the story is going places every writer has been before, or that it stars Jaden Smith – the film just cannot be good because it’s being made by M. Night. You cannot deny it. That is fact*.
Also, there is obviously going to be a serious twist, so you might as well start guessing how it ends now.
Likelihood of it being good: About as likely as me deciding that Tyler Perry is a funny man (1/10)
* Just pointing out that it’s not actually fact just in case the film turns out to be all right. Future proofing for the ‘egg on my face’ scenario.
Update: I watched it, and it sucked. No egg on my face, Shyamalan.