“Pursuit of Happyness” father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith have found themselves in yet another desperate situation – albeit his time with what appears to be a significantly higher budget.
An international trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth” has hit the web, and it sets up the film’s basic premise utilizing some pervoiceover from the elder Smith and a host of stunning visuals.
Set in the distant future, the film (written by Gary Whitta, with a polish by “Traffic” screenwriter Stephen Gaghan) centers on the efforts of “legendary General” Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) to survive after crash-landing on a hostile planet.
“Everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans,” notes Cypher as he explains the dire situation to his son. “Every single decision we make will be life or death.”
So what planet have they found themselves on, exactly? Will Smith?
“This is Earth,” declares Cypher.
Title making sense now?
From a spectacular opening crash sequence to some strikingly lush visuals later on – including a bit that sees Jaden leap off a clip and soar through the air with mechanical wings as a large bird gives chase – this first trailer is a good one, though I could have done without Smith’s rather heavy-handed narration (is it just me or does he break into a Southern accent at one point?).
One interesting thing to note is that Shyamalan’s name doesn’t appear anywhere in the preview, suggesting just how far the director’s stock has fallen since his “Sixth Sense” heyday of more than a decade ago. Given Smith’s shrewd instincts as an A-list actor and businessman (he’s also a producer on the film), the choice to hire the filmmaker – who doesn’t exactly have the most stellar recent track record – is a curious one. Can teaming with one of the world’s biggest movie stars get his directing career back on track?
My grade for the trailer: B+. After watching it below, rate it for yourself at top left.