After Earth: Can Will Smith Save M. Night Shyamalan's Career?

Header The trailer for After Earth was released in the later portion of 2012. As usual, this was one of those trailers that's supposed to make us hungry for a film we're, at the time of printing, a good four months away from experiencing. This trailer is selling us two things: it's selling us a Will Smith movie, AND it's selling us an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Though Shyamalan has taken a long, hard tumble from his Sixth Sense days, the point still remains that he could be much much worse. (Uwe Boll still occupies the rock bottom circle of Movie Hell.) Could there possibly be a chance that Will Smith's charm and consummate professionalism just might save his fellow Philadelphia native's film-making career? Well that is what we're here to determine today. To best experience this article; please view the After Earth trailer below;

The Argument For:

Will Will Smith is a star. Period. You can throw Wild Wild West or Seven Pounds into the equation all you want, the simple fact is that Will Smith is not only talented, he's still very much a box office draw. He is the Four Quadrant Picture king, as he rarely deviates from PG/PG13 fare to provide modest studio hits. The point stands, if you want a hit film, casting a top Box Office draw is still one of the best foundations to start with, and you could do worse than Will Smith. (Which is funny, considering Tom Cruise is pulling a similar duty with Oblivion.) He is also extremely comfortable with SciFi, considering it immensely helped build his career to star in Independence Day and Men in Black, as well as made him the unofficial king of the Fourth of July weekend. No matter what CG beasties or dystopian world he's surrounded by, Smith stands a good chance to make it feel more real for the audience. The best evidence toward that claim, disputably, is his performance in I Am Legend, where 2/3rds of the film is him talking to mannequins, fighting monsters, and paling around with a beautiful German Shepherd. His performance felt more real than most actors would have given if they were in the same situation, and when he carries a film, he knows how to carry a film. Click "next" below to read the "Argument Against"...

Mike Reyes may or may not be a Time Lord, but he's definitely the Doctor Who editor here at What Culture. In addition to his work at What Culture, Mr. Reyes writes for Cocktails and Movies, as well as his own personal blogs Mr. Controversy and The Bookish Kind. On top of that, he's also got a couple Short Stories and Novels in various states of completion, like any good writer worth their salt. He resides in New Jersey, and compiles his work from all publications on his Facebook page.