Back in May, I was really pulling for M. Night Shyamalan to find success with his latest film, After Earth. I’m a big fan of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I’m okay with Signs, but was disappointed with The Village and The Lady in the Water. The Happening was terrible and The Last Airbender was one of the worst movies I saw in 2010. After Earth was science fiction and it starred Will Smith and his son Jaden, so maybe he could get this one right. Shyamalan was a gun for hire on After Earth, so what could go wrong…
After Earth, as it turned out, was a step above The Last Airbender, but not by much. It was still a terrible movie full of emotionless drama and stilted action. It was almost a disaster, if audiences cared to see the film. It grossed $60.5 million domestically against a $130 budget, although the film did gross $183.3 million internationally and raised its worldwide take to $243.8 million altogether. As forgettable as After Earth was, ScreenJunkies has released the latest “Honest Trailer” video, featuring the collaboration between M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith.
The film had a lot of problems, namely with its lead Jaden Smith. When the charismatic Will Smith is emotionless and stuck in a chair for the majority of the film’s running time, that’s a problem. The premise seemed interesting enough: a father and son are stranded on a deserted planet and have to work together to survive. But when a film has so many dumb moments, silly reactions, and sci-fi mumbo jumbo, it’s easy to see why After Earth was such a failure with critics and audiences alike.
This is the best “Honest Trailer” yet! The narrator’s voice is so upset at doing the narration for After Earth that it reaches to a hilarious level. He spends most of the time pointing out the film’s flaws, but then just gives up because the movie is so stupid. It’s almost better than the “Honest Trailer” for Star Trek Into Darkness. Almost…
What will the future hold for M. Night Shyamalan as a director? I’m not so worried about Will Smith’s career. He’ll bounce back after one dud. He just needs to be in the Independence Day sequel to recover good faith from audiences and movie studios. Shyamalan, on the other hand, should worry.
Audiences hated The Last Airbender, despite its box office success, while The Happening was a disappointment across the board. Now After Earth was a commercial and critical failure. Its studio, Columbia/Sony, was the last movie studio Shyamalan had yet to work for, and the result was a terrible outing for everyone involved. It seems like no movie studio in Hollywood would finance another M. Night Shyamalan movie after this latest failure. Maybe he’ll turn to television or screenwriting, but he really needs to pull himself out of this tailspin. He’s a very talented, yet misguided, director.
The “Honest Trailer” narrator teased that the next video in the series will be for The Walking Dead. Considering the TV series’ sharp decline, the next one should be interesting.