You know your movie has problems when even the star comes out publicly and says it was terrible. That’s the case with After Earth, the 2013 M. Night Shyamalan-directed, Will and Jaden Smith-starring sci-fi flick that missed the mark in many, many ways. It was so generally trashed that it’s actually a surprise it’s taken this long, but After Earth is now the subject of one of Cinema Sins’ “Everything Wrong With…” videos.
If you’ve ever seen one of these videos, you should be well aware of what you’re in for. As usual, some of the complaints are legitimate, like problems with the awkward structure that flashes back and forth willy nilly, some questions about the scientific side of things, and how everything on an abandoned Earth has evolved to kill humans, despite the fact that humans haven’t been on Earth in thousands of years. Others are nitpicky.
You probably already know whether you want to watch this or not. Like almost every installment of this series, After Earth is ridiculously long. At best, it’s moderately amusing for a few minutes, but there’s no reason why this video needs to be 13 minutes in length. If you make it to the end it feels more like a marathon slog than anything super enjoyable. You get the point right away, After Earth has a lot of problems, which, if you’ve seen the movie, you knew going in, it did, after all, win three Razzies.
It was weird building up to After Earth that Shyamalan’s name was almost nowhere in the marketing. Whereas he had once been an audience draw, here his name was relegated to small print at the very bottom of the poster, as far out of the sightline as the designers could get it. The film also did nothing to help Smith boys’ careers. Jaden hasn’t appeared in anything since, though he has a couple acting gigs in the works, including Karate Kid 2. For his part, Will hasn’t headlined a movie since, at least not until this weekend’s con-man thriller Focus. Though he is lined up to be part of DC’s Suicide Squad, he took a step back following After Earth.
The Fresh Prince is still out there, however. He popped up in Anchorman 2 for a moment, has Bad Boys 3 on the way (though no Independence Day 2), and here’s a clip of him performing the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Ellen. This is something he does every few years to gather a little fan goodwill, and I am totally okay with that.