In the new sci-fi movie
But when it comes to reviews of "After Earth," neither the elder Smith (who is also a producer on the film) nor Jaden -- nor director M. Night Shyamalan -- has emerged unscathed. The film has met with overwhelmingly poor reviews.
The Times' Betsy Sharkey said the screenplay, by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta, "has no nuance, none. And when Shyamalan moves into the director's chair, the script problems are magnified." Among those problems are a lack of subtlety, a surfeit of flashbacks and "dull opening narration." To make matters worse, the special effects are "one generation beyond tinfoil."
Regarding the two leads, Sharkey wrote, Will "Smith has never seemed stiffer," and Jaden "is trying so hard that the teenager's engaging on-screen presence, the one that made
Manohla Dargis of the
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "After Earth" finds Shyamalan "branching out, coming up with new ways to make bad movies. His plan must be to exhaust all possibilities so as to eventually come full circle and make a good one by accident." LaSalle summed up the rest of the film as "a character we don't care about [Jaden's], played by an actor of no inherent screen presence, fighting off computer-generated monsters."
About the closest thing to a good review is Michael Phillips' in the
He may indeed, but probably not soon enough to save "After Earth."