If you are interested in seeing a M. Night Shyamalan film then please move along, this is a Smith family affair and ultimately another vehicle for Will to push his son Jaden in front of us, the viewing audience. There’s a reason that Shyamalan’s name was removed from the marketing, this movie was written and produced by the Smiths with Shyamalan attached as a director-for-hire only. That being said, this is a very tepid film with huge plot holes, insipid dialogue and middling acting. Will Smith’s usual charisma and compelling screen presence is missing, presumably so he doesn’t overshadow his son who is the star of this movie and who has the most onscreen time. The allegorical aspect of the flim which speaks to a father letting go of his son to either succeed or fail in the world is neat, but it is the only redeeming quality. Some may like the visuals, having been shot in Costa Rica, but it didn’t wow me, not like Oblivion which had truly beautiful, breathtaking cinematography. All in all, I’d rather pull my fingernails out with a pair of pliers than watch this movie again. In fact, I may yet do that to distract me from the residual pain of having watched it the first time.
4 out of 10