December 12, 2012 by Chris Reynolds
Not long ago, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan receded into the shadows since his box office flop ‘The Last Air Bender’ in 2010. Now we see him rise once more, and his film style is evolving yet again… with ‘After Earth.’
Known for creating, quite possibly, the most memorable horror movie in recent history (‘The Sixth Sense’) Shyamalan’s potency waned more and more with each movie release. ‘Signs’ was another favorite of mine along with the earlier ‘Unbreakable,’ but with movies like ‘Lady in the Water’ and ‘The Happening,’ his films began to lose their luster for me.
But now, he has moved into one of my all-time favorite genres… Science Fiction, a type of film that is on the rise in pop culture once again. And with Will Smith and son, Jaden Smith, as the films lead actors, I have a hard time calling this one a flop quite yet.
Sure, like I said before, Shyamalan’s more recent works have been… how do I put this delicately… “dead the whole time”… But I believe that somewhere inside this film maker still lives the ability to make another legendary thriller. Could ‘After Earth’ be it?
The trailer certainly looks thrilling and action packed right out of the gate. You get sucked out of a space ship and then BAM! You’re being chased by monkeys who have evolved to kill human beings.
The story of ‘After Earth’ is actually based on one written by Will Smith himself. Gary Whitta and Shyamalan created the script based on Smith’s idea and ran with it. Man-kind abandoned our home planet 1,000 years ago, and is now facing the threat of a brutal alien race.
How the father and son duo come to crash land on the long abandoned earth, I can only speculate. My guess is that they are running from this new threat, and find themselves facing an older enemy on an equally alien planet… their old home. Which has evolved and grown to wipe out humanity, and force it to evacuate forever. And with the son able-bodied to seek aid for his injured father, the main character really is the young boy who is fearful, yet determined to help them both survive. This gives the film, as my girlfriend so aptly suggested, a good blend of elements present in two recent blockbusters: ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Avatar’.
I must say, this story intrigues me very much. Not to mention Will Smith is an actor that rarely seems to disappoint me. Could this be M. Night Shyamalan’s resurgence? I would like to think so.
As of this posting, I give ‘After Earth’ a Future Film Karma rating of 80%.
But that is only my opinion. I am very curious to see what you think about this upcoming Sci Fi thrill ride. Take a look at the trailer and become a part of the discussion!