Let me start this off by saying how I am not a Will Smith fan. I think he’s mediocre at best and his best is when he’s playing a character that’s basically himself. He is lacking depth – totally evident in his performance in Six Degrees of Separation. But of course, I’m biased. I saw the 1990 play on Broadway with James McDaniel in the part Will Smith brought to screen. Or I should say, failed to bring to screen.
But this post is not about Six Degrees, it’s about a terrible movie, with terrible actors (including Will’s son, Jaden), and particularly terrible directing by the once great M. Night Shyamalan. You thought The Last Airbender was bad? Not even close to this one. And what makes it worse is that the actors are so lacking in skill that they think the bad dialogue will be better if they just stand there with I guess they think is a very pensive look. They look pensive. See picture.They talk pensive. And the audience is bored out of their minds.
It’s a colossal failure. And I hope that the Smiths will take it as a sign that they should stop producing movies for their children to star in. I know. I know. But they were so good in The Pursuit of Happyness. And what about the remake of The Karate Kid?
The former I felt is better because Jaden hadn’t become affected. But by the time his folks came around to producing The Karate Kid as a vehicle for him he has turned into a self-obsessed, narcissistic, egocentric teen. Unable to evoke any emotion other than the pensive face he copies from his dad. And that is not entertaining.
But the real question is M. Night Shyamalan who for whatever reason hasn’t been able to make a good movie since The Sixth Sense. His surprise endings used to be entertaining and fun. And while watching, I kept hoping I would get that with After Earth. That the whole terrible experience would somehow be redeemed by a sudden unexpected, yet expected twist.
It just wasn’t meant to be.