Monday, June 3, 2013

The Six Dumbest Criticisms of <I>After Earth</I>

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Page 5 of 7

After Earth Will Smith Jaden Smith M. Night Shyamalan
3. "Will Smith fans who have been eagerly awaiting their hero’s next rock 'em, sock 'em action adventure will have to wait a little bit longer. Sequels to Hancock, Bad Boys and I, Robot will take up much of the actor’s time for the foreseeable future.

"In the meantime, Smith’s character in After Earth spends most of the new sci-fi flick flat on his back, with two broken legs. It’s an odd choice, considering that many people who buy tickets to a Will Smith movie do so under the assumption that he’ll be able to, you know, walk."

Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post

Just to be clear, this is the opening paragraph to a review of the movie After Earth; its first order of business is to rattle off Smith's upcoming projects, and be factually incorrect about it, because O'Sullivan is just copying unconfirmed information from IMDB based on vague, years-old chatter that Smith might, at some point, sequelize any of those movies. Anyone with even the most basic grasp of film news should know that not a single one of the three sequels O'Sullivan nonsensically mentions is actually scheduled to begin pre-production, let alone production. After dropping this awesomely incorrect scoop, O'Sullivan makes it wholly unclear whether it sucks that Smith's dance card is (supposedly, not actually) filled with sequels to action movies, or whether it sucks that this new movie isn't an action movie—because, as he astutely points out, most people buy tickets to Will Smith movies specifically thinking "well, I was just assuming that there's no way his character will break both legs. It's just common decency that certain things cannot happen to Will Smith in a movie."

Oh, also: he absolutely does not spend most of the movie "flat on his back." He's usually sitting up. If you think that's a weird criticism for me to nitpick, just think about how weird it is to make something up about a movie and then criticize that made-up thing.

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