Trailer Talk: 'After Earth' Offers 'Avatar'-Lite, Will Smith and Son Reunion

Trailer Talk: 'After Earth' Offers 'Avatar'-Lite, Will Smith and Son Reunion

What movie star would pass up the chance to star alongside his or her adorable son?

Will Smith got that opportunity with the sweet father/son drama “The Pursuit of Happyness” six years ago. Now, Papa Smith and son (“The Karate Kid’s” Jaden Smith) are back together on screen in “After Earth,” a 2013 release set in the future.

The catch? The man behind the camera has become a punchline in film circles after a brief, blazing start to his career.

M. Night Shyamalan will try to make us forget “The Last Airbender” … and “The Happening” … and “The Village” and “The Lady in the Water” with his latest directorial effort.

The story finds Smith and Smith starring as a father and son who crash land on Earth roughly a 1,000 years after humans abandoned the third rock from the son. The planet is now a far more dangerous place, and the two must survivor the onslaught of new creatures while calling for a rescue team.

Our first look at “After Earth” showcases impressive effects, some tender moments between the Smiths and some odd similarities to a little planet called … Pandora. There’s no direct hint of James Cameron’s eco-themes from “Avatar,” but the trailer moves by so swiftly it’s hard to detect much of anything of consequence.

Smith remains a major star, albeit one who hasn’t been on screen much lately. The younger Smith proved he could carry a film with his “Kid” reboot. The wild card is Shyamalan, who shares a writing credit on the film and has given audiences no indication (yet) he’s capable of an artistic turnaround.

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