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Review: In Defense of M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth


It seems as if After Earth was doomed from the start by viewer bias. We'd all rather just ride the Shyamalan haters's bandwagon, loudly exclaiming our displeasure and disapproval any chance we get. But someone has to stand up and defend the innocent, just like Jesus Christ stood up to Mary Magdalene's would-be stoners.

"Let he who has an Oscar acting nomination cast the first stone."

Here now are three arguments in defense of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan in general, and of the film After Earth in particular.

Before we begin, here's a photo of half of Will Smith's femur.

Although Shyamalan didn't write the screenplay alone (it's co-written by Gary Whitta), he still wrote 50% of it. So everyone should stop complaining about Shyamalan's infamous plot twists, because the only twist here is not having a twist while you were expecting it.

The twist is that they're father and son in real life.

The language of cinema is universal – that is the reason why pretentious film hipsters love foreign language films with subtitles. It's composition, camera movement, and pacing which form the letters, syllables, and phrases of cinema. And Shyamalan speaks it well. Nothing exceptional about the way he speaks cinema, really, but he still speaks it nonetheless. And finally…

"He said, 'Do you... understand... the words... that a' comin' outta my mouth?'"

Really. After Earth wasn't that horrible, save for the realization that Jaden Smith is not a good actor. If there was a scientific experiment where both Shyamalan and Clint Eastwood were asked to direct short films, I bet you couldn't tell who directed what without reading the credits.

Not visible: the single tear on Jaden Smith's cheek.

Stone me to death, but I loved The Village. So there.

After Earth. USA. 2013.

Original rating: 6.8 / 10
Zoë Kravitz: + 0.1
Kristofer Hivju a.k.a. Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones: + 0.1
Final rating: 7.0 / 10

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Seven?! Really? That's bias right there. Hahahaha.

When you say it's not that bad, do you mean, it's bad and just not that bad? Hahahaha.

Okay, okay. I agree to a certain point—and that being Jaden Smith has loads to learn in the acting department. I also realized WIll Smith is more fun to watch when he's fun and not brooding, but he carried this film well, as is expected of him. And yes, M. Night did this better than the movies he recently churned out (ehem, The Last Airbender), but is the film that good? No. I'll give it just a 6. Hehe.

But you like The Village, so everything in this comment becomes invalid. LOL ;P

I love The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening.., a little less on Unbreakable and Signs. And of course, there is The Sixth Sense. I haven't seen After Earth though.

You'll probably enjoy this one, Herd. Hehe. ;)

My 7/10 rating should figure into the online algorithms, to raise his already dismal average net worth in the entertainment community.

The Village has got to be the most memorable plot twist I can remember. Tell us Sue, what made you dislike it so much?

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