At Least Justin Bieber Likes ‘After Earth’
Can the Biebs give a boost to Jaden's movie? (Photo: Columbia/ Getty)
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 30, 2013
It's nice of him. Especially since no one else is being anywhere near as nice about the M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi flick that reunites father-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith, the co-stars of "The Pursuit of Happyness."
"You know you're in trouble when you find yourself feeling sorry for one of the world's wealthiest teenagers," wrote Alfonso Duralde at The Wrap. "And you're definitely in trouble when you wish the mess of a movie he stars in could be as entertainingly rotten as 'Battlefield Earth.'"
[Oof, a "Battlefield Earth" reference ... never a good sign.]
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post kept up his publication's reputation for pun-happy headlines with "The Son Don't Shine on Smith's 'After Earth,'" going on to say that the film 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." Lumenick also says he gave the film a rating of one star out of four simply because "Smith's longtime enablers at Sony apparently encouraged him to whittle this humorless sci-fi epic down from a much longer movie."
Director M. Night Shyamalan, whose name is conspicuously missing from all of the film's marketing materials, gets blasted by Lou, too. "Eleven years and several progressively more dreadful movies after 'Signs,' director M. Night Shyamalan would be lucky to get a gig directing traffic," he wrote. Meanwhile, Dustin Putnam says the film "bears the mark of a work-for-hire who has all but given up."
Really, several critics are having a field day with this one, taking off the gloves for what looks to be the summer movie season's first official disaster.
"The level to which 'After Earth' is a catastrophe is amazing," wrote Laremy Lagel of Film.com, saying that the film is "terrible right from the outset, and woe be upon the person who holds out hope that it will get better after the initial wobbly start."
Jaden and Justin, friends indeed (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty)
The on-screen pairing up of father and son also seems to add an uncomfortable and distracting layer to the proceedings for some critics.