Call me a curmudgeon if you will, but I was offside with this movie from the opening minute when the narrator said ‘phenomena’ when he meant ‘phenomenon’. The phenomena [sic] is ‘ghosting’, a demeanour produced by having no fear when confronted by life-threatening situations. It’s the pheromones exuded by fear that the blind monsters pick up on when they are on the rampage, eating people.
I can’t recall the last time I was so unengaged at the cinema (it was probably during a recent sci-fi blockbuster – I’m thinking Prometheus). This one is set in the distant future when, as per the script of all such apocalyptic flicks, our planet has been trashed and abandoned. Will Smith is one of the Rangers who, in nifty jumpsuits, have been responsible for safely seeing human beings to new lodgings in space and who now fly about the galaxy performing heroic deeds.
On such a mission with his (real life) son Kitai (Jaden Smith), their rocket crashes on, you guessed it, Earth. Will is immobilised with a bad leg injury and might bleed to death if Kitai can’t find his way across hostile terrain to retrieve something or other that will save his dad’s life. It’s all father/son stuff, with weird flashbacks. Moby Dick is also referred to as a sort of self-validation, so I gather that there is an analogy being drawn with Herman Melville’s famous novel, but as I’ve not read it I can’t comment, other than to say I was not tempted to race out and purchase the book.
Since his marvellously creepy The Sixth Sense (1999), director M. Night Shyamalan has made a series of stinkers and this will do nothing to dispel the suspicion that he is a one-hit wonder. Due to my couple of bevvies at lunch, nature called just after the giant monster was slain. Leaving the loo, I realised that I had not the slightest interest in how it all turned out for Will and his revolting boy, so I went home.