During my college days at St. Francis in Brooklyn, we discussed the theory of "dying at the height of your greatest glory." Once you come to bat in the seventh game of the World Series, the ninth inning with two outs and your team trailing by three runs and you hit a grand slam home run -- it is only fitting and proper that you die after crossing home plate with that winning run. The theory is, your life can only go downhill from that moment on, so it is better that you depart his world while on top.
I say all this because M. Night Shyamalan, the director of "After Earth" might be proof that this theory is valid. This man directed the great movie, "Sixth Sense" in 1999 and has not approached anything that
good since. "After Earth" will do nothing to break his very long downhill slide.
This film has all the bells and whistles of a first class production - if only great sets and scenery were enough to make a film work.
The story is thin, you have the entire story in the first few minutes and even the brief running time of 100 minutes is too long. A really successful film has to make you care and this writer / director has lost his way and can't seem to realize that very few members of the audience will give a darn about these folks.
I don't want to bash this film, they made an honest effort to put a story on the screen, but unless you are very forgiving, you will have to admit that they missed the boat and the plot was too thin to support the time and money spent to produce this weak film - maybe
it should have been marketed for a pre-teen audience.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith are the key players in this production and I would have been kinder if I did not mention their names -- this certainly won't be their moment of greatest glory.
In the future, I will use the name M. N. Shyamalan as a "buyer beware" warning sign in selecting a film to pay money to see.
This film is really beautiful to look at, but nothing much gets you involved in the film -- the themes of love, family, life and death are in the story, but not in a manner that makes you care. I should have been rooting for the characters and I was merely watching them.