July 01, 2014
Will Smith: (played by Malcolm Ray) Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, the danger is very real. Fear is a choice.
Jaden Smith: (played by Gideon Ray, Jr.) ...Well Dad, can't I choose not to be in a Shyamalan movie?
Will: DENIED! Now get your stupid space suit on, Jaden!
Jaden: Oh, this is like being in Karate Kid with no karate in it.
Will: I heard that!
We then get our intro and fade into NC.
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Today, we look at--(the logo for After Earth comes up) (NC groans in frustration, laying his head on his desk) No! No! No, no, no, no, no! (clips of the movie play) Oh, God, not that one! Not that one! Oh, b- Come on! It's so stupid and dumb! J- I- What with the flying, and the- (grumbles) Ah... (beat) So let's take a look.
NC: (vo) Something important to keep in mind this time around is unlike his other films, Shyamalan is not entirely to blame for this one. Will Smith's son, Jaden, was something of a rising star, so to cement his status, Will took it upon himself to write a story starring his son that would hopefully lead to a sci-fi franchise. There was just one problem.
Kitai: That sucked.
Cypher: That is correct.
NC: (vo) Oh, it sucked, alright. It was reported that this film started out as number one on opening day, but word spread so fast that it slipped down a slot the next day, and was so bad that it slipped down another slot the next. Yep, the film was so bad that the public felt a civic duty to alert as many people as quickly as possible about it's horribleness. But like I said, even though the movie has Shyamalan's seal of horrendousness, you can't ignore the ego hand job that the Smith family is obviously giving itself. For example, get a load of Will's intro over Jaden's narration.
(cut to first scene with Kitai lying on the ground, with his face all swollen)
Kitai: (vo) (with accent) I've heard stories of Earth. (clips play, showing how the planet became uninhabitable) A paradise, until we destroyed it. The founding of the United Ranger Corps, one thousand years ago, was a global military effort. An evacuation of Earth.
NC: Dude, what's with the accent? Was your mother Matthew McConaughey?
Kitai: (vo) The aliens released the Ursa.
(giant alien creature attacks the screen)
NC: (vo) Oh, yeah, quick side note-- did we forget to mention there's aliens in this world? There's aliens in this world. Quite pointlessly to be honest, as we never see or find out anything about them. Hell, we don't even know what they're called.
NC: They're just referred to as "aliens".
NC: (vo) It'd make sense if they had them be the ones that destroyed the Earth, but then we couldn't get our "man anal fucks environment" message that I'm sure this film is the first one to introduce. (posters of movies like Ferngully, An Inconvenient Truth, Once Upon a Forest, Avatar, and Wall-E appear)
(alien ships drop the Ursas onto Nova Prime)
Kitai: (vo) Technically blind, the Ursa sees humans based on the pheromones we secrete when frightened. They literally smell our fear.
NC: (vo) So, the Ursa-- (onscreen) Wait a minute, they named to pets of the aliens, but not the aliens themselves? (beat) JESUS, GUYS! (vo) --start wiping the human race out, but then a lone hero writes himself into the story.
(cut to battle scene, with Cypher Raige walking calmly past the troops fighting an Ursa, until he's close enough to it, attacking with his cutlass)
Kitai: (vo) And that answer came in the form of the Prime Commander, Cypher Raige.
NC: (stifled laugh) ... I'm sorry, what was that totally run-of-the-mill average name again?
Kitai: (vo) The Prime Commander, Cypher Raige.
NC: (trying to hold in laughter) ... Was Lieutenant "Man Awesome" already taken?
NC: (vo) Look at this shot! It's like the penis compensation of introductions; the hummer, pick-up truck, and convertible all rolled into one.
Kitai: (vo) He's believed to be so completely free of fear, that to an Ursa, he's invisible.
NC: (vo) Will, everybody already wants to be you. You don't need to build yourself up like this. This is like Hugh Hefner trying to convince us he can shoot lasers from his eyes. (picture of Hugh Hefner surrounded by models, as his eyes start glowing red) There's just no need. We're fucking jealous enough! (scene changes to the "Nova Prime Human Settlement" on the "Nova Solar System") So in the Nova training grounds, we see a young group of students wearing the same skintight jumpsuits that are pretty much worn in every fucking future movie.
Kitai is seen running faster than the other rangers.
NC: (vo, as one of the Rangers) Don't pass him; that's Will Smith's kid! (vo, as the rest of the Rangers) Ah!
Velan: Your test scores were very impressive. In the classroom you are an outstanding Ranger, but in the field you collapse.
NC: (vo) Um... how? You never showed us an example of that.
Velan: I'm not advancing you.
NC: (vo) Jesus--I've said this a million times, Shyamalan; show, don't tell! Or at least have what you're showing match up with what you're telling. Based on the two seconds from what we've seen, how is he not performing well? Is it because he cut in line while running? I think an inadequate course could clear that right up! We then see Cypher Raige... (NC is seen with his head down, laughing) ...come home to a world so clearly technologically advanced that apparently, they need rubber bands on their chopsticks.
Kitai: I was not advanced to Ranger.
Cypher: You were not advanced to Ranger...
Kitai: I was not advanced to Ranger, Sir!
NC: (vo) As you can see, Cypher Raige-- (onscreen, laughing) sorry, that will never not be funny-- (vo) is a man who has built his life around having no emotion so he can defeat the enemy... except for this very strange out-of-nowhere spaz-out.
Cypher: Are you asking me or telling me?
Kitai: May I go to my room, sir?
Cypher: DENIED! SIT DOWN!
NC: (vo) It's weird because he doesn't act like this at all throughout the rest of the movie. Even in scenes where he should be angry, he plays it very bland and dull. Most of his performance is like watching the dead corpse of (shows picture of) Mr. Potato Head, yet for some reason he blows up here.
Kitai: May I go to my room, sir?
Cypher: DENIED! SIT DOWN!
NC: (as Cypher) You will not make me have an emotion in a Shyamalan film again!
Cut to Faia who is seen assembling what looks like a holographic structure before shutting it off just as Cypher walks in.
NC: (vo) (chuckles) I just love how a random act of no reason or logic suddenly looks futuristic as long as it's a hologram. I mean, what is she doing? We have no idea! But it's all science-y and shit, so I guess we're never supposed to question it.
Cut to NC sitting down next to Tamara who is moving all sorts of different symbols around on screen.
NC: Hey, Tamara, what you doing?
Tamara: I'm just pointlessly waving my hands in front of these shapes.
NC: Is it a game or--
Tamara: No, no, just pointlessly waving my hands in front of these shapes.
NC: Huh. (pause before announcing in booming voice) THE FUTURE! (The same words appear on screen as an orchestra/choir flourish is heard.)
Back to the movie.
Cypher: I have a last visit to Iphitos. I'm flying tomorrow, supervising training. And after it's completed, I'm announcing my retirement.
NC: Well, clearly you've retired from this performance so I think it'd be a very smooth transition. Cypher: Maybe I'll work with you.
Faia: That boy in there is trying to find you. He's a feeling boy.
NC: (vo) HA!
Faia: He's an intuitive boy.
NC: (vo) I'm sorry! I've seen Pet Rocks that feel more than this kid has!
Faia: He needs a father.
NC: (vo) So, being a feeling boy with a father who wants his family back, they decide to finally look the issue in the eye and confront it... even if it takes hours.
Cypher: Pack your bags. You're coming with me to Iphitos.
NC: (vo, as Cypher) Good talk there, son. Next week, we'll talk about the death of your kitten. Oh, did I forget to mention it? He's dead. (normal) So before getting on the Blackbird, they're approached by a soldier who Cypher Raige... (onscreen, stifled laughter) (vo) ...apparently saved in war.
Ranger: I was on the plateau. You saved me and four others. I just came from seeing my baby girl's face for the first time.
NC: (vo) As you see, it spawned no emotional impact whatsoever.
Ranger: Stand me up.
Cypher: That won't be necessary, Ranger.
Ranger: I said, stand me up. (the two soldiers standing on both sides of him do just that)
NC: (vo) Um... Will? Could you explain why, in your story, a man who can still use one leg is in a wheelchair when clearly he should just be using crutches?
NC: (reacts in surprise) OKAY, OKAY! (vo) So while on the ship Jaden walks through a toothbrush door-- because, you know... (in booming voice) THE FUTURE! (The same words appear on screen as an orchestra/choir flourish is heard.) (vo, normal) --as it seems they trapped an Ursa on the ship.
Sergeant: (steps in front of Kitai) Hey! Authorized personnel only.
One of the soldiers: Might wanna go easy on him, Sarge. That's the prime commander's son right there.
NC: (vo, as Sergeant) Oh! Well, in that case, I better scare the living shit out of him. Maybe it'll give me a promotion!
Sergeant: Your blood is filling with adrenaline right now… whether you know it or not. Your heart’s beating fast. It’s getting a little harder to breathe. Your neurobiological system is telling you to run, but your knees are too weak to move.
Cut to NC, who sings a bit of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as the screen flashes to the music.
NC: (sings) You close your eyes / And hope that this is just imagination!
Back to the movie, where the Ursa makes a noise that scares Kitai. The Sergeant appears behind him.
Sergeant: She sees you, kid! (the other soldiers laugh)
NC: (vo) But Daddy senses a great disturbance in the dull. Cypher: What's the last known position of the closest asteroid storm?
Navigator: Two-thousand kilometers to starboard at plus-four-five declination.
Cypher: I detected graviton vibrations in the hull.
Cypher: Graviton buildup could be a precursor to mass expansion.
NC: (vo) You know, I'm sure the actors on "Star Trek" have no idea what they're saying, but at least they act like they have some idea what they're saying. You sound like a Will Smith GPS!
Cypher: The pull of our own graviton weight could set the thing off. That storm could be on us in minutes.
Pilot: But, sir, mass expansion is one in a million.
Cypher: Let's just hold course and hope I'm wrong.
NC: (vo) So, just to go over our choices, it's either alter the course slightly or risk every single person's life on this ship! (as one of the pilots) Eh, the button's all the way over there... (green arrow points downward to the screen on the right where there's a lot of buttons next to one of the pilots) The ship starts rumbling.
Pilot: Engines one and two are off-line! We're losing her!
Cypher: Can you travel us out of here?
Cypher: The Anchorage, Lycia. It's closest.
Navigator: No confirmation signal, sir!
Cypher: Travel us now.
NC: (vo, as Cypher) As you can see, I've been trained to emotionally detach myself from any intense situation. Just don't ask to leave the table before finishing dinner. I will deny you! (normal) So they find the nearest planet to land on, which is, of course, Earth, as the ship is split completely in half and everything inside is almost totally destroyed...except for our hero who doesn't have a single solitary scratch on him.
Kitai is seen among the wreckage until an elastic material covers the screen.
NC: (confused) What the fuck?
The material disappears. Kitai is seen putting his oxygen mask on to breathe before the same elastic material covers the screen again.
NC: (vo) Ah. Let me translate this scene for those of you who don't speak Shyamalan. (clears throat) (big red text "NOTICE MY DIRECTING!" begins flashing on screen as NC speaks in mock director voice) NOTICE MY DIRECTING! NOTICE MY DIRECTING! I KNOW THERE'S A CHARACTER AND STORY YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CARE ABOUT, BUT NOTICE MY DIRECTING! (vo, normal) What the hell is that thing even supposed to do? Zip-Loc your child actor so they don't become even more spoiled? (booming voice) THE FUTURE! (The same words appear on screen as an orchestra/choir flourish is heard.) (vo, normal) Oh, don't worry, kid, Papa Smith won't leave any time soon. Yeah, as he just happens to be the only other person who survived this crash. What a fucking coinkydink!
Cypher: Confirm the Ursa is contained.
Kitai: The back of the ship is gone.
Cypher: (through communicator) Rangers, count-off!
Clip from "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" TV series is shown.
Black Ranger: Mastodon!
Pink Ranger: Pterodactyl!
Blue Ranger: Triceratops!
Back to the movie as Cypher struggles to sit up and a holographic structure is opening.
NC: (vo) With both his legs broken, he tells his son that he has to do Daddy a solid by travelling all the way across a shit-ton of "what the hell" to set off the emergency beacon.
Cypher: Every single decision you make will be life or death. Everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans.
NC: (vo) With all that nasty wildlife out there, he gives his son the best firearms a futuristic soldier would have...
Cypher: Take my cutlass.
NC: (vo) ...or a double-edged steak knife. Um, Will? Again, I hate to keep bringing this up but can you tell me why a future obviously filled with these high-tech laser guns has a kid-friendly version of a Klingon sword as the only weapon to fight against giant killer animals?
NC: (shrugs slightly) Yeah, okay.
Cypher: (vo, from Kitai's radio) Take a knee. Root yourself in this present moment now.
NC: (vo) So inspired by his father's strong words, nothing can stop this determined, motivated machine of bravery...except a spider. Ew!
(Kitai slips off the mountain he's climbing after he tries to get a tarantula off his hand)
Cypher: What happened?
Kitai: I'm fine.
NC: (vo) Oh, yeah. This is gonna go great. (Kitai is seen walking in the forest) But it doesn't take long for Jaden to find trouble. Kitai's suit turns completely black.
Kitai: My suit's turned black. I like it but I think it's something bad.
NC: (shakes his head) Sorry, that line was so stupid. Delayed reaction. What?
Kitai: I like it but I think it's something bad.
NC: Who the fuck cares if you like it, kid? What are you, Coco Chanel?
NC: (vo) I think that might actually be the dumbest thing Shyamalan has ever written, and that's saying a lot!
Kitai: I like it but I think it's something bad.
NC: (vo) Dipshit, fashion is not a priority here! Does Shyamalan think most soldiers bring wardrobe appeal into their combat scenarios?
Cut to NC and Malcolm in a war room dressed as army generals
Malcolm: Soldier, what is your status?
Cut to Tamara in an urban environment dressed as a special ops soldier.
Tamara: The enemy has us outgunned and outnumbered, sir!
NC: What kind of garments are they wearing, soldier?
Tamara: Fashionably outdated VP cam boots, sir!
Malcolm: Is their camouflage from the Ranger Joe catalog or the RothCo catalog?
Tamara: Ranger Joe, sir!
NC and Malcolm groan
NC: Don't they know that Ranger Joe is so last season?!?
Malcolm: Please tell me your top combats their blasé fashion sense!
Tamara: Sir, I've got on a black SWAT vest and a black standard issue top!
NC: What about the bottom, soldier?
Tamara: (Camera pulls back to reveal she's wearing...) I've got a beautiful Bohemian Banana Republic skirt and a pair of wonderful flower shoes!
NC: Do the shoes match, soldier? Do the shoes match?!
Tamara: Yes they do, sir!
NC and Malcolm give a sigh of relief
Malcolm: Good. (Gets out a drinking flask while NC gets a bottle of Smirnoff) For a second there I thought we were going to be under-dressed.
The sound of a gunshot comes over the walkie-talkie.
Tamara: I'm hit!
NC: But at least you died fabulous. (Knocks bottles with Malcolm before they both take a big drink)
NC: (vo) So it turns out the suit he likes senses danger. Danger in the form of bloody baboons!
Cypher: Do not. Move. Recognize your power. This will be your creation.
NC: (vo) (sighs) You know, Will, you could give the epic talk a little break and maybe speak a bit simple. Like, don't throw rocks at them. Don't encourage them to get reinforcements. Don't make noise while swinging your bullshit stick. And don't run away enticing them to chase you.
NC: I'm just saying it might work better if you don't speak (air quotes) "Trailer-ese".
NC: (vo) He outruns them despite how clearly slow he is and that they always just look a few steps behind him, and he does it just in time to listen to--I know you are excited for this--more bland dialogue!
Cypher: (very monotone) I go for my cutlass...shoots its pincer...right through my shoulder...next thing I know we're over the cliff...falling...thirty meters...
NC: (vo) God! I am so sick of this Shyamalan speak! The slow talking, the blank stare, the fact that nobody ever uses any goddamn contractions!
Cypher: We are all telling ourselves a story.
Kitai: I am dedicated...
Cypher: This will be your creation.
Kitai: (narrating) We were not alone.
Faia: You do not know.
Cypher: You cannot leave. / Do not move.
Faia: He does not need a commanding...
Cypher: Do not misunderstand me.
NC: Why are you afraid of the apostrophe?! (apostrophe appears) What did the apostrophe ever do to you?! Did the apostrophe kill your family?! (picture of Bruce Wayne and his murdered parents from Batman Begins) Did the apostrophe have you cosign on a loan that you knew you could never pay back?! (picture of two women signing loan papers) TELL ME, SHYAMALAN! TELL ME SO I CAN FINALLY START FUCKING UNDERSTANDING THIS STUPID DUMBASS SHIT THAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOVIES!! GOD, IT'S SO TERRIBLE! (lays head down on his desk) (static as Will Smith appears onscreen)
Will Smith: Cadet, you will get through this movie!
NC: I'm trying, Will Smith, but you just chose the dumbest-ass director you could for this project! God, help me get through this!
Will Smith: It's alright, Cadet. I know the story's a young adult book for five-year-olds, I know it's directed by the most egocentric fop since Brett Ratner, but you will get through this movie.
NC: But it's so hard, Will Smith. You just made it so stupid.
Will Smith: Alright, take a knee. (NC tries, but ends up hitting his face on his desk because he's already sitting)
Will Smith: You can run. You'll live, at least for a while. (NC looks up) Die on your bed many years later, but would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell your enemies that they may take our lives...
NC: That's Braveheart.
Will Smith: What?
NC: Braveheart. You're quoting Braveheart.
Will Smith: (beat) The night is darkest just before the dawn.
NC: That's The Dark Knight.
Will Smith: Do or do not...
NC: That's Star Wars.
Will Smith: Do unto others...
NC: That's the Bible.
Will Smith: Do wah diddy...
NC: That's gibberish.
Will Smith: Two plus two...
NC: That's basic math. You have nothing original to offer, do you? You are every wise, tough mentor that has ever existed in anything ever, aren't you?
Will Smith: How about this one? 2 eggs, a cup of sugar, a half a cup of butter...
NC: That's a recipe for cake.
Will Smith: Yeah, I got nothin'.
NC: Leave the story to the storytellers. (Reaches to turn Will's connection off)
Will Smith: Wait, I have two other kids to promote! NC turns him off
NC: (Looks to his left) Nepotism.
The camera moves to reveal Rob standing to his left
Rob: (I know,) Right?
(cut back to Kitai, who finally made it to the halfway point: a waterfall)
NC: (vo) So Jaden makes his way to a cliff, which he thinks he can manage through, but Cypher Raige-
NC: (laughs) Okay, I'm just gonna have a puppet me say it, 'cause it's the only way to fully embrace the ridiculousness of it. (NC holds up a NC puppet) (clears his throat) But- (puppet voice) Cypher Raige- (normal)- thinks it's too dangerous for him to jump.
Cypher: Abort mission. Return to the ship.
Kitai: ... (voice breaks) No, Dad!
NC: Pfft- The hell was that?
Kitai: (voice breaks) No, Dad!
NC: What, did Christopher Walken go through puberty backwards?
Kitai: (voice breaks) No, Dad!
NC: (Christopher Walken impression) No, Dad!
Kitai: You wouldn't give any other Ranger that order!
Cypher: You are not a Ranger.
Kitai: You're wrong! (wipes tears) I'm not a coward! You're the coward! (beat; Kitai is practically now addressing the camera instead of his father) I'M NOT A COWARD!
NC: AH! Kitai: I'M NOT A COWARD!
NC: (as Jaden Smith) You hear that, audience?! I don't need an adult to get me through a movie! ... Unless it's Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves, or my own friggin' dad. Twice! (pictures pop up from The Karate Kid, The Day The Earth Stood Still, After Earth, and The Pursuit of Happyness)
(Kitai jumps off the waterfall, opening gliding flaps on his suit, soaring down the side of the cliff face)