Alan Dee’s movie preview: After Earth, The Last Exorcism: Beginning Of The End
Smith & Son is the story we’re being sold for this week’s big new release – glossy special effects thriller After Earth features both Will and his boy Jaden, both of whom are perfectly bankable names bearing in minds their past successes.
Will has been a bit quiet of late, the third instalment of Men In Black aside, but he’s got sequels for Hancock and I Robot and even Bad Boys 3 in the pipeline.
Jaden, who also shared screen time with the old man in The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006, made a good enough fist of his first big role in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid that we can dismiss any mumblings about nepotism in the film world.
So what have we got here? Well, think what would happen if the bloke in I Am Legend had custody of a stroppy teenager instead of a loveable dog, add in some Star Trek style and just a pinch of Paper Moon and there you go.
Will and Jaden play father and son, dad’s a top military commander and the lad is trying to follow in his footsteps but not impressing the teachers at space commando college because he takes too many risks, goes his own way, disobeys orders – you know how it goes.
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They’re supposed to be spending some bonding time together when an unfortunate accident finds them stranded on Planet Earth, abandoned 1,000 years before because it was just too dangerous for humans.
Will’s crocked but can use high-tech gizmos to keep in touch with the boy, Jaden has to cross territory filled will all sorts of special-effects demons to retrieve a beacon which will send out an SOS so they can get rescued.
The pair don’t actually share a great deal of screen time as Jaden does battle with the green screen and Will lingers back in the crashed spacecraft, offering wisdom from a distance, and it’s a solid enough sci-fi story but for the posturing of director M. Night Shyamalan.
This is the first time in 20 years that Mr Sixth Sense has tackled anything other than his own screenplays, apparently, and there’s a reason – and it’s because most of his other output has failed to hit the mark.
You can see the money that’s been lavished on this big-budget blockbuster in every scene, but that doesn’t mean to say you’re going to fall in love with it.
Elsewhere you’d be well-advised to avoid The Last Exorcism: Beginning Of The End, which sadly doesn’t do what it says in the title.
As its predecessor made a solid enough bunch of change at the box office, we get another 15-rated frightener which puts the wobbly camera motif to one side now it’s so unfashionable but serves up Ashley Bell trying to get back to normal life after the unpleasantness of the first outing. Do you know what, she can’t...