M. Night Shyamalan’s Smith family picture After Earth hits theaters today, and because it’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie, or, I suspect, because it’s not very good, the reviews have been quite negative. Actually, for every 10 reviews, there’s about seven negative, and three devil’s advocate, here’s-why-it’s-not-as-bad-as-everyone-else-says reviews. I tend to believe our friend Laremy’s succinct statement on the matter, because out of all the critics, he’s the cutest (sorry, Kyle Smith):
“After Earth is f*cking terrible, Jaden Smith is not an actor, Will Smith is not a father, and the whole thing is this extended chase scene in which you want the kid to die horribly because all he does is cry like a little bitch about everything. At one point the person next to me said, “C’mon kid, just sack up”. Now if they’d called the film that, I’d have been in.”
It’d be easy to just compile some mean quotes about Jaden’s acting, but it’s too easy. It’s no fun piling on. Instead, I thought we’d use the negative reviews to do what we’ve done a few times before: cobble together the plot and let you decide for yourself. So here it is, everything I learned about After Earth, using nothing but review quotes.
A thousand years ago, we learn, humans fled the Earth after rendering what was once a paradise uninhabitable. They now reside on “Nova Prime…” (Vulture)
…where they wear a lot of white and decorate their homes with flowing sailcloths. (NY Times)
…where all garments and surfaces are dominated by a curious honeycomb pattern, and where we eat our meals with implements that resemble three Lucite chopsticks joined at one end. (Slate)
“After Earth” opens with a teenager, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith), washing out from some kind of ranger academy. It’s a bummer because all he wants to do is please his father, Cypher (Will Smith). (NY Times)
(Nova Prime) wasn’t a hospitable place at first, as they were hunted by ferocious predators, blind but able to smell fear. Only a great soldier who’d learned to control that emotion was able to help vanquish them. -NJ.com