To the great
interest boredom of many, I've written at length about my complicated feelings regarding M. Night Shyamalan*. I finally jumped off the let's-defend-Shyamalan train around the time of The Happening, vowing to never be tricked again, and yet: After Earth, the Will Smith/Jaden Smith sci-fi flick that Shyamalan's directing, but not writing? Um... well aside from the fact I'm pretty sure it's actually set before humanity and not after it, as it implies, I think it looks kind of... I'm not going to say it. But this is worth a watch.
YES YES I KNOW FOOL ME ONCE, ETC. But I don't know. Animals and spaceships and Karate Kids and stuff! Those things are neat. So I don't know. Part of me wants nothing more than see Shaymalan make a genuinely awesome movie again. The rest of me knows that even entertaining that hope is what made me watch The Last Airbender and then hate myself for doing so, so there you go.
I did get a mean-spirited kick out of the fact that they don't mention Shyamalan's name at all anywhere on the trailer, though. I think they learned their lesson from the Devil trailer—an otherwise effective preview that made every audience that saw it start laughing when Shyamalan's name came up.
*Short version! He's got a remarkable ability to create stunning images and set a genuinely haunting tone—a fact that usually gets pushed aside so people can talk about how they always see his twists coming** and how deplorable Lady in the Water, The Happening, and The Last Airbender are***.
**No you don't, liar.
***And yes, those are genuinely terrible. But Sixth Sense and Unbreakable are great, and Signs is underrated, and even The Village has some great stuff.
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