'After Earth' trailer shows father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith struggling to survive (+video)(Read article summary)
'After Earth' stars Will and Jaden Smith as a father and son who must survive on the planet. 'After Earth' is slated to hit theaters June 7.
WithÂ After Earth, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan tries to continue his bounce back from the disappoint of his last few films, such asÂ Lady in the Water,Â The Happening andÂ The Last Airbender. Shyamalan made a positive step forward withÂ Devil, which saw him break from his pattern of total creative control by handing a story from his â€śNight Chroniclesâ€ť to a different writer and director, resulting in a fairly well-received film.
However,Â After EarthÂ sees Shyamalan back at the helm and taking on the sort of high-profile blockbuster material he tackled withÂ AirbenderÂ (to disastrous results). Of course,Â Earth is already getting a boost from the family-brand star power of Will and Jaden Smith â€“ not to mention, the intrigue of seeing the Smiths (and Shyamalan) working in the sci-fi genre.
Right off the bat, thisÂ After EarthÂ teaser presents a picture of the future that is somewhat similar to the trailer forÂ Oblivion, the new sci-fi film from Tom Cruise andÂ TRON LegacyÂ director Joseph Kosinski. The mix of natural and technological elements and color palettes is immediately noticeable in both films, yet equally enticing to the eye in either case. Shyamalanâ€™s film will also likely draw comparisons to the distant future segment ofÂ Cloud Atlas, what with theÂ similaritiesÂ in costume and tech design and the sort of dialect spoken by the characters (Will Smithâ€™s futuristic southern drawl compared to Halle Berryâ€™s future-street-slang delivery inÂ Cloud Atlas).
After EarthÂ manages stand out from other recent future-Earth sci-fi films in the sense of wonder that is being offered. This trailer almost paints the film as a sci-fi version of theÂ The Road,Â with a father teaching his son core values about what kind of man to become, against the backdrop of a harsh, threatening environment. There is a question (judging from the footage) of how much screen time Will actually has in the film; it seems like this will be Jadenâ€™s show to carry, and that the rest of the cast will appear either in flashback or through other extraneous methods (video chats, etc.).
The young Smith proved in The Karate KidÂ (love or hate that remake and its upcoming sequel) that he definitely has his dadâ€™s star potential. This film, however, will test that potential on a much more mature and challenging level than physicality and/or minor dramatic emoting. Can we watch this kid onscreen for hours and still be intrigued and/or moved by him? Perhaps.
For Shyamalanâ€™s part: so far it seems that he has a mind and eye for sci-fi, and has constructed some pretty great sequences in this film. The opening shot of Willâ€™s character, â€śCypher Raige,â€ť getting sucked away as the hull blew definitely got a jolt out of me, and the vision of Earth â€“ and all those aforementioned threats waiting there â€“ definitely have me intrigued to see more.
Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.