M Night Shyamalan's After Earth gets a Will Smith-less viral video
I don't know why I keep giving M Night Shyamalan second chances. He is kind of like that drug addict friend who keeps borrowing twenty bucks from you and swears he is going to get clean but then you find him turning tricks at the local Applebees and selling blood to buy another hit. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but Shyamalan has been given more opportunities than most big Hollywood directors get in a lifetime. After THE LAST AIRBENDER, the dude should have been banned from any budget over a million dollars.
With that being said, his next film is AFTER EARTH which benefits greatly from having Will Smith as the headliner. A science fiction epic that does not have a sarcastic undertone seems like the perfect cure for Will Smith's latest string of movies. So, when this viral video came online, I was somewhat baffled by the format. Check it out.
Plot: After Earth takes place one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth. Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.
My biggest problem instantly becomes the use of Facebook. In a post-apocalyptic totalitarian society, something tells me social media would not be allowed, nor would it be in the same timeline format we use today. I would rather have seen this presented as a series of images and video clips with the voice-over. The Facebook format just makes it seem completely ridiculous. I may be overreacting, but go back and look at the teasers for each Shyamalan movie prior to THE LAST AIRBENDER and each one makes the movie look better than it ended up being. This is the first one that looks weak and derivative and desperate.
AFTER EARTH opens June 7, 2012.