‘After Earth,’ Starring Will & Jaden Smith, Panned By Critics
After Earth, the Will and Jaden Smith vehicle, has opened to largely negative reviews from film’s top critics. The M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) helmed science fiction adventure centers on father Cypher and teenage son Kitai as they try to survive a devastating crash landing onto a hostile Earth – 1,000 years after an apocalyptic event left it uninhabitable.
Rene Rodriguez from the Miami Herald found little to like about the blockbuster. “The CGI creatures in the film look as fake as the monkeys in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Every time a dangerous critter pops up, you’re taken out of the movie as if you’d just hit the eject button on your seat,” she wrote. “Even worse, the story doesn’t make much sense.”
The Wall Street Journal’s review, written by Joe Morgenstern, is titled “Muddle-Earth: Is After Earth the worst movie ever made?” In the review, Morgerstern wrote, “I've never seen a movie that moves so slowly, or takes itself so seriously, which is why it doesn't seem like a movie at all, but a sermon whose central subject is fear."
Time Out New York’s Keith Uhlich saved his most scathing remarks for Shyamalan. “How the mighty have fallen,” he wrote. “[Shyamalan’s] name has been all but scrubbed from the marketing for this competent, occasionally stirring science-fiction adventure. It’s a long way down from “the next Spielberg” to yeoman hack.”
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer movie critic, was one of the few with some positive things to say about the father-son sci-fi flick. “After Earth is worth a look. With a production design that mixes futuro-tech with a hippie Pier 1 aesthetic, this beautifully shot tale finds [Will Smith] in a supporting, or at least mentoring, role, turning the action over to his son, Jaden, a rangy brooder of a boy.”
After Earth, rated PG-13, is currently in wide release.