After news broke of the plot for M Night Shayamalan’s new film After Earth starring Will and Jayden Smith, I took to the boards and forums to see what people were saying.
It seems to me that people have a well rounded hate for M Night. I can understand that – his last 2 directed films weren’t particularly great (The Last Airbender and The Happening) – but Devil was, in my opinion, a well written film which I thoroughly enjoyed watching.
I think he is somewhat a victim of his own success. Let’s face it, after The Sixth Sense came out with its shock horror twist ending (don’t give me any of this, “I guessed it five minutes in”, you were clueless like the rest of us) M Night sky rocketed to success, he was essentially given free reign to do what he wanted and in Hollywood that’s generally never a good thing.
2000’s Unbreakable was a surprising film of the superhero genre – lots of folk I’ve spoke to over the years either didn’t like it or didn’t get it but it was enjoyable and had some great acting.
2002’s Signs is bloody good too. It’s another overlooked film by haters who have no reason to hate. Does it get a bit convoluted and cheesy towards the end? Yes.
Is it easy to parody? Yes.
But the acting was great and the part with the home movie gave me a genuine fright.
2004 brought us The Village – a movie teaming with great actors and actresses and a fantastic story. Loads of folk scream about how they guessed the twist at the end again, but same goes for this and The Sixth Sense, it only hints at the revealed ending after you know what the ending is. Before that, there is no guessing. I hark on about The Village because I genuinely enjoyed it and continue to do so even now I know how it ends.
2006’s Lady In The Water was a strange film – not that the rest of his films can be considered normal – but I still enjoyed it in the cinema. I can’t say I’ve attempted to watch it since though so maybe my view is a little jaded.
Now that’s where it went downhill, I can’t even bear to discuss 2008’s The Happening and considering I wasn’t a fan of The Last Airbender before the film it had no impact on me, a bad martial arts film at best.
Devil was written by – but not directed by – M Night. This film really hit me, I dug it a lot and was really impressed with the atmosphere and the source material. The acting was fairly decent too.
No one seemed to care though.
So it’s that time again where M Night is going to release something new and the only details we currently have is that it stars Will Smith and Jayden Smith as father and son, Earth has been decimated and folks have moved to another planet called Eden Prime, they crash back on Earth thousands of years later, and Jayden has to go looking for a rescue beacon himself on this hostile earth.
I’ll tell you something though, if he gets kidnapped by walking and talking apes I’m out of that cinema faster than the Millennium Falcon can do the Kessel run.
So explain to me, apart from the plot sounding a little lacklustre and people not particularly digging the karate kid, what’s wrong?
Are we getting to the stage where we judge something by an idea alone and don’t even bother watching it?
Come on people give M Night another wee chance, I think he deserves it…