Review~ Boggled By What Was Supposed To Be A Bad Movie, Will Smith; After Earth

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.