It’s really hard to write about Jaden Smith. Here he is in Cancun, doing press for After Earth, the movie he made with his dad Will. Jaden is 14 and it’s obviously not fair to judge Very Young Hollywood by the same standards I feel so completely free to judge Adult Hollywood. He’s a kid. Kids should be off limits, and it’s nothing new to point out that kids can be awkward…and yet…
There he is, on a red carpet, served up on the same platter to the press the way any other star would be, with a kiss on the cheek from his dad no less! I guess it’s not Jaden’s fault that Hollywood is willing to put him in this position, to expose such a young guy to this kind of scrutiny, just to turn a profit. So what are the things I can say about this situation without unethically tearing into a child?
I can say that this movie looks terrible, a father and son drama from M. Night Shyamalan that none of us was demented enough to wish for. I can say that it reeks of the same soulless action as the regrettable Karate Kid reboot. I can say that as far as leading men go, Will Smith has become one of the biggest disappointments of my life, an insincere, unfunny shell of what he used to be.
Is it fair to wish that Jaden’s career is just going to “Will Smith” in reverse? That maybe in 15 years he’s transform into the lovable star of a groundbreaking sitcom that will make us laugh, cry and feature the best TV aunt of all time? By then we’ll be able to talk openly about him, but for now? I’ll just say, ok, Jaden. Hope you had a fun in Mexico.