Here I go again.
M. Night Shyamalan is releasing a new scary movie this September and it has people wondering if he'll be "back" or produce yet another disappointment. You either love a Shyamalan movie or you hate it. He has fallen from grace with the public and critics alike with his past few films. It seems people like his stuff less with each release.
I've always appreciated his style. Usually a slower, surreal pace that has often worked and sometimes not so worked. Kind of like that sentence.
I absolutely loved Signs. It may be one of my favorite movies of all time. It's my favorite Shyamalan for sure. The Last Airbender is my least favorite along with The Happening. After those, like all the rest of us, I got Shyamalan shy.
It's always bothered me that I never gave After Earth a shot. It got 11% on the Rotten Tomato site! That's pretty rotten. The studio didn't even advertise Shyamalan as the director.
Today, I rented it and watched it.
And I really liked it. It is not at the top of the heap and not at the bottom either. It's right in the mix with The Village, Unbreakable and Lady In The Water.
Shyamalan is best when telling a small story about people in the context of a bigger happening (pun intended). You experience the story from the small view of the characters. In this way, After Earth is spot on.
Critics were put off by the funny accents. I found it a creative tool to think about how the English accent would evolve in the future. Others were put off by the Smith's producing and contributing to the story but this is also what critics have been saying Shyamalan has needed, partners.
I found the suspense engaging. The danger felt real. There are some beautiful moments in this film to do with parenting, fear and letting go that made it such a good experience for me.
You don't have to like it. I did. And I would heartily recommend you give it an honest try.