After Earth isn’t great, but it’s not that bad, honestly.

The performances in M. Night Shyamalan’s films have often had a stilted, solemn quality, and Will Smith’s performance in After Earth is no exception. There are a couple reasons for the woodenness this time, though.

First, the story is set in the distant future, a thousand years after humanity has fled the Earth — more on that in a moment — and it stands to reason that speech patterns might have changed in the interim. Indeed, according to co-writer Gary Whitta, the filmmakers “worked with a dialect coach to come up with an original accent, because the idea of the characters speaking with an American accent or a British accent one thousand years in the future, after you’ve left Earth, would seem kind of preposterous.”

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More people getting sucked out of holes in airplanes etc.!

Three weeks ago, I noted that the trailers for at least three of this summer’s would-be blockbusters happen to include images of people being blown out of holes in airplanes or starships. But it wasn’t until today that I was reminded of a fourth such movie — namely After Earth, the post-apocalyptic M. Night Shyamalan flick starring Will Smith and his son Jaden. There were very brief images to this effect in the first trailer released in December, and then again in the second trailer released in March, but I somehow didn’t pick up on this until I saw the new TV spot released a few days ago. So here it is!


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