M. Night Shymalan is the greatest filmmaker in Hollywood. So dedicated to his art was this visionary that he took the concept of those clever plot twists that first got him all the attention, and turned it into his entire career. Don’t know what I mean? Well, first he wowed us with amazing films like The Sixth Sense, Unreakable, etc., getting us all happy with his apparent genius, and then BAM! The Happening and The Last Airbender! Didn’t see those stinkers coming, did ya?
But now this new trailer sci-fi adventure After Earth may just foreshadow another an unexpected development.
A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.
Well I’ll be damned but that actually looks kind of good. And the last time I said that about a M. Night Shymalamadingdong movie, people still believed that Mel Gibson was in complete possession of all his mental faculties.
Will Smith, given the right material has always been a pretty reliable leading man, even in steampunk turkeys like Wild Wild West, and Jaden Smith is shaping up to be a chip off the old block (I tried really hard to hate The Karate Kid remake on principle alone, but in the end I just couldn’t help but like it).
The film’s writing credits also show a couple of rather interesting names in Stephen Gaghan – the Oscar winning writer behind Traffic and Syriana - and Gary Whitta – who made his feature film debut with The Book of Eli, but more importantly provided the scripts for two of my favourite videogames in the last decade in Prey and The Walking Dead: Episode 4.
Now the question of course, is that with all that talent assembled, pointing towards a rip-roaring sci-fi romp, is M. Night Shame-and-Lame going to pull another plot twist and make this suck?