After Earth, with Will Smith & Jaden Smith. Director, M. Night Shyamalan. The movie was roundly laughed at, this past weekend, for under-performing. However; since it’s science fiction, it had to be seen by me. Just to say, I saw it. Honestly, it’s really good. If you can get around remembering that Smith is a Scientologist & any sci-fi he’s in, is suspect. Also, it’s remembered that Shyamalan was giving this a go. So, the possibilities were open.
Smith still isn’t a dramatic actor, but manages to play a stoic military officer, carrying on with his usual life, when disaster hits, of course. It’s the unemotional portrayal that I admired out of Smith. I know it must be a difficult thing to accomplish, considering his usual fare. The never-ending obnoxiousness that’s made him so much moolah. Personally, aside from flattering descriptions by his fans, he’s never been on par with other action stars – & it’s not a racial thing; in case you were wondering. A clown is just a clown.
I originally questioned the inclusion of his son, Jaden. It reeked of nepotism. But the kid has a way about him, even if he’s hard to understand, for reasons of voice projection & expertise. That’s all I’ll say. It’s not my way to crucify children. Anyway, he wouldn’t be the first child of a star that was boosted up a rung on the ladder. Look at Michael Douglas! He’s done well.
Still, this was actually well done & interesting, definitely the director’s accomplishment. The elder Smith is a professional, & while I’m not his biggest fan by far, he never disappoints. The boy is passable, with an awkward way about him. Along with top drawer special effects & a great script, it verges on being a minimalist (without too much convolution), science fiction triumph. I don’t say that lightly.
I recommend the film for viewing. It’s a pity that it didn’t initially do well, it deserved more than the ridicule it received in the general press. Perhaps the country was just really grumpy last weekend.