'After Earth' Still Bit By the Shyamalan Bug?

It seemed like it might have actually had a chance, with Will and Jaden Smith starring together in the M. Night Shyamalan written and directed project, After Earth.

And very early movie fan scores were seemingly supporting the idea that the movie might be pulling it off.

But then, well, it opened in the United States.

It seems a story with Will Smith and Jaden Smith, and Jaden getting much of the action, isn't being received well, across the board!

Review titles or references like "crashes after take-off," "Smith and son hard to watch," too much synthetic CGI, and the obvious, "the latest setback for director M. Night Shyamalan" seems to say it all.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer, after 113 reviews, is at 12%.  61% of their audience liked it though.  Movie Review Intelligence initially showed a 37% approval rating early on Friday morning, but just after midnight as more reviews are tallied, it's at a 28% approval rating.

IMDb users HAD it scored at somewhere in the mid-6's, but now, it's sitting at 5.8/10.


M. Night Shyamalan should have quit after Signs.  He hit it out of the park with his first few great movies, and that's great.  I'm thinking he could have stepped back after Sixth Sense and been seen as a one-hit-wonder and fans would have been clamoring for more of his "incredible vision." 

Or he could have quite after Unbreakable, and he still could have been heralded as a man with a vision.  I loved Signs and the perspective of watching an alien invasion from one family's perspective.  And had he stopped there, I think he'd have a great fan following.

But then he kept getting studios to let him take a swing at getting in touch with that once inspired magic he had shown, and missing the swing.  At least at the box office.

It's a shame.  It seemed that After Earth could have been a great stepping stone for more good work.  Right now early reports are that Now You See Me might be climbing all over it at the box office, like a monkey climbing a tree.

The Hollywood Reporter even had an ex-scientologist review the movie, calling out what he calls Scientology parallels. But these comparisons seem to be nothing more than some weak references to long-time standing self-help analogies.  Or a selling point for the article.

If all these dour perspectives are correct, then I'm glad I saved my money this weekend. -