Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Like Father, I Like Son

Just saw "After Earth" starring Will and Jaden Smith, father and son space explorers. The film is set in the future where Earth becomes uninhabitable because creatures, especially the Ursa, ugly, vicious monsters, are hell-bent on
devouring humans.

Most reviewers have trashed the movie for its script, performances, and plot.

Nonetheless, I applaud Will for doing something unprecedented: showing blacks as leaders in the interplanetary future.

Likewise, he does that dynasty thing: using his son in a major motion picture, which depicts the complicated, though loving relationship, between an accomplished father and his ambitious, rebellious offspring.

Sure, Will is rather one-dimensional as Cypher Raige; while, Jaden (Katai Raige) moves from clumsy to heroic (in the film's climactic scenes).

On the other hand, I respect Will for playing against type, such as the swaggering, fast-talking action hero of  "Independence Day," "Bad Boys I and II, and "I, Robot."

At age 44, he is taking on more grown-up, thoughtful roles as he enters the next phase of his career.

Will Smith wrote the script in which plot and character development leave much to be desired. Hey, he tried.

But, some of the blame for the predictability of the of action goes to the director, M. Night Shyamalan, who directed such cinematic duds as "The Village," "The Happening,"and "Lady in the Lake."

When I heard of his collaboration on the film, I did not expect much in the way of originality or creativity.

The Smiths are a show-biz family with two talented children, including 12-year old daughter, Willow, an actress and singer. The Smith children are being groomed by pros--Jada Pinkett Smith and Will. (Another son, Trey, 21, is less in the celebrity spotlight.)

I hope that the film's negative reviews won't deter this close-knit family from pursuing other roles that demonstrate their artistic diversity.