‘After Earth’ Reviews: Critics Loathe Will & Jaden Smith’s Space Adventure

Fri, May 31, 2013 8:14am EDT by 31 Comments
After Earth Reviews
Courtesy Of Sony Pictures

Will Smith has proven that he can carry a movie about surviving on Earth without the existence of humans (e.g. ‘I Am Legend’), but can he achieve the same success with ‘After Earth,’ a film also starring his son Jaden Smith?

The usual summer blockbusters are taking over the box office right now, and After Earth joins the pack on May 31. The movie is a story of a father (Will Smith) and son (Jaden Smith) who crash land on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. It sounds intriguing, but let’s see what the critics thought!

‘After Earth’ Reviews

Los Angeles Times

The sci-fi action-adventure starring Will Smith and son Jaden is a disaster. Blame the script, blame the poor effects, but most of all, blame director M. Night Shyamalan.

Rolling Stone

After Earth merits comparison with 2000’s Battlefield Earth, John Travolta’s godawful film tribute to the sci-fi novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Yes, it’s that bad. This time poor, ravaged Earth, uninhabitable by humans, is occupied by predatory birds, monkeys and tacky computer-generated aliens. So what are Will Smith, 44, and his son Jaden Smith, 14, doing there? Ask Big Willie, he dreamed up the story. What we see on screen, with a sodden script co-written by Gary Whitta and director M. Night Shyamalan (a galaxy away from the glory days of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs), is an unholy mess of platitudes and posturing that makes 90 minutes drag on like a life sentence.

U.S. News

Everyone walks into a M. Night Shyamalan film knowing to expect the unexpected, and this has come to be sort of a problem for the director in his recent movies, none of which has been able to deliver the monumental twist of his highly regarded “The Sixth Sense.”

So perhaps it can be considered a twist that the most unexpected element of his latest film, After Earth, is how expected it all is. Considering that the story was conceived by Will Smith (with a screenplay written by Gary Whitta with some revisions by Shyamalan), it’s unlikely that was a deliberate measure on the part of the director. Rather, aside from its Shyamalan sheen, After Earth emerges a sentimental, predictable, father-son tale set in a sci-fi future – starring, you guessed it, a real-life father and son: Will and Jaden Smith.

New York Post

“May cause extreme drowsiness’’ reads the flashing warning on a pain killer that Will Smith takes after breaking both legs in his new movie — a caution that applies equally to After Earth.

Basically, this is Smith and his real-life son, Jaden (both affecting ridiculous mid-Atlantic accents) talking the audience to death for something like 90 minutes before the closing credits. I’m giving it one star because Smith’s longtime enablers at Sony apparently encouraged him to whittle this humorless sci-fi epic down from a much longer movie.

Ouch! We don’t think Will or Jaden will be happy with these reviews. Will you listen to the reviews or see the movie for yourself and make your own judgement?

What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Will you be seeing After Earth? Let us know!

WATCH: ‘After Earth’ Review: Jaden Smith & Will Smith Team Up 

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— Chris Rogers

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