M Night Shyamalan has yet again managed to make a film the critics love to hate. After Earth, starring father-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith has crash landed in a very hostile climate indeed - and no we are not talking about the story.
"He's done it again. M Night Shyamalan has done it again. Again. Done it. Again. He has given us another film for which the only appropriate expression is stammering, gibbering wonder that anyone can keep making such uncompromisingly terrible movies with such stamina and dedication," writes Peter Bradshaw in an intentionally incoherent fashion in The Guardian.
"This one is a sci-fi drama of such incredible boredom…featuring a triple-whammy of abysmal acting, directing and story," laments Bradshaw.
Christopher Tookey notes in The Daily Mail, "A strong contender for 2013's worst film, it educates us about several precepts of Scientology - suppress emotion, be in the present moment alone, earn the respect of your father-figure, and become a kind of human robot."
"That last bit is, incidentally, terrible advice to give actors," he adds mocking the acting prowess of young Jaden Smith.
Commenting upon the script, visuals and experience of the film he writes, "The dialogue is…delivered in stilted accents. The structure is that of a very dull video game made by someone who once watched The Lord of the Rings. But it's the script that makes this a toe-curling embarrassment. Unlike Shyamalan's previous movies, there's not even an attempt at a twist."
Anthony Quinn of The Independent also talks about After Earth's abysmal effects in The Independent. "The effects are second-hand stuff from Alien and Star Trek, spliced with Shyamalan's regular homilies on Personal Growth," he writes.
""Fear is a choice," asserts Big Chief Smith (in the film). Well, actually it's an instinct, but let's not get into that or we'd be here all day - approximately as long as this movie seems to last," he adds making a point about the length of the film.
In fact, Tim Robey is perhaps the only critic to see some hope in the Smith starrer. "If the knives hadn't been out from the second Shyamalan's involvement was publicised, he might have fashioned a minor comeback out of this simple, emotionally coherent survival story," he writes in The Telegraph.
However, Shayamalan's lack of detailing gets him a red mark on his report card. "It's just a shame so much of the detail goes wrong, from the cheap-looking fibre-glass sets and unconvincing CG animals to the thuddingly feeble space-opera context," notes Robey.
Rotten tomatoes gives After Earth an unbelievably low 11% on the tomatometer with a comment that reads, "After Earth is dull, ploddingly paced exercise in sentimental sci-fi -- and the latest setback for director M. Night Shyamalan's once-promising career." Looks like it's time for Shayamalan and the Smiths to pull their socks up!