After a string of underwhelming films, much-maligned American director M. Night Shyamalan – who was remarkably being touted as ‘the next Spielberg’ only a decade ago – is now associated with flops. For his latest endeavour, the auteur has called upon the talents of father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith for apocalyptic sci-fi After Earth (2013). Whilst it’s still not the return to form that avid Shyamalan fans were hoping for, it’s far from the disaster that some have been dreading. The narrative (which was conceived by Smith Sr) is set over a thousand years in the future, where cataclysmic events have forced humans to abandon Earth.
With films such as The Last Airbender and The Happening, it’s sometimes easy to forget that M. Night Shyamalan has also given us some great movies in the forms of Signs and The Sixth Sense. His follow up to the latter film was Unbreakable, which offers a unique retelling of the traditional superhero origin story. In 2009, Oscar-winning filmmaker and fan of the film Quentin Tarantino smartly stated that Unbreakable would have been better marketed with the tagline ‘What if Superman was here on earth, and didn’t know he was Superman?’ With that, it’s prudent to say that this is not your usual superhero flick.
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