After Earth

afterearthleadSo now that both Lady Geek Girl and I have reviewed the trailer for this movie (here and here), I figured I’d subject myself to it, because why the hell not? As it turns out, “why the hell not” seems to be the driving motivation behind just about every scene in the movie, so yeah, why the hell not? I can’t say that I had that many high expectations for this film, and so I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Sometimes, I was remarkably surprised at hints of, dare I say, good writing. Other times, I was torn between laughing and cursing at myself for paying to go see this thing.

Obviously, there are going to be spoilers in this post. But before we begin, M. Night Shyamalan likes to work with twist endings. Some of you may be asking yourself what the twist is for this movie. Lady Geek Girl speculates that it’s that the movie takes place in a utopia where The Last Airbender movie didn’t suck.

If only.

The twist is that there is no twist. There’s some fear monster that Jaden Smith is terrified of, but at the climatic ending, he learns how to not be afraid of it. At just that right moment. He and Jamie from Rise of the Guardians seem to have a lot in common in that regard, except that Jamie wasn’t an annoying caricature.

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Trailer Tuesdays: After Earth

Yes, I know this movie just came out recently, but I haven’t seen it yet, and it only came out a couple days so I think I’m still within my blogger rights to review the trailer.

It’s summer time and Will Smith is in an action movie. That seemed to be the norm for a long time, but now that I think about it, I haven’t seen Will Smith in many movies lately, or at least many action ones. But this time it seems like the burden of providing most of the action actually is on Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith. In After Earth, Will and Jaden play a father and son team that crash lands on… Earth? So apparently one thousand years ago humanity left Earth for… reasons, but now Will Smith and his son have crash landed there, and they need to retrieve some sort of beacon in order to get home. But there’s a twist: everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans now. Again because of reasons… reasons that I assume will be connected with some surprise twist ending about why humans left the planet in the first place. Maybe the plants killed people? No, wait, it’s all actually Jaden Smith’s dream, or it’s faeries, or normal people dressing in yellow robes to scare everyone and hide the fact they live in modern times. Or maybe the twist is that it’s set in a world where Avatar: The Last Airbender didn’t suck.

As you may have guessed from my thinly veiled sarcasm, this movie is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Which leaves me in something of a conundrum when it comes to whether or not I should see this movie. You see, almost all Will Smith movies are good. That is just fact. Even if it’s not good in the sense that it has a good plot, it’s always at least entertaining and enjoyable to watch. But M. Night Shyamalan has, in recent years, been a terrible director, but his early movies were so good I think I just want to always given him a chance to redeem himself. The movie looks exciting. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the movie stars two characters of color, which is something movies don’t often do, especially sci-fi movies. That alone might be the reason I see this movie, even if the plot seems to set itself up with one too many twist endings.

We’ll have to wait and see if this will be an exciting movie or another M. Night Shyamalan failure at making a comeback.

Trailer Tuesdays: After Earth

While I’m not the biggest fan of Will Smith or his son, I was actually really excited for this. Anything involving a post-apocalyptic Earth tends to grab my attention immediately. And this one doesn’t even seem to have anything to do with zombies, and yet humans are still no longer the dominate species on the planet. So I was already interested in what happened. I wanted to know how it came to be that humans are afraid of Earth. On top of that, Will and Jaden have appeared together in movies before, and being actual father and son makes their relationship on screen all the more real. So there are not a lot of instances in their relationship where I could see bad—or rather, unbelievable—chemistry pulling me from the movie.

I say I was excited because the movie’s director is none other than M. Night. Shyamalan—or, Shyamalamamon, as my brother likes to call him.

Maybe at one point Mr. Shyamalan was a great director, but his movies just seem to keep going downhill, and I honestly thought we would never see him again after The Last Airbender movie bombed for being a complete disaster. That movie was so bad that all of the characters’ names were mispronounced. The girl who played Katara couldn’t even say Avatar correctly. On top of that, I had no idea what was happening or why it was happening.

I’m worried the same thing will happen here. I’m worried that the characters will have no agency. That they’ll be cardboard cutouts. That the plot will be a convoluted mess impossible to follow. That we’ll be force-fed some annoying message that will take precedence over what’s happening on the screen.

So here’s me wishing that Shyamalan will turn around and produce something worth watching. But I’m afraid to get my hopes up.