Review: Seven Pounds
Plot: An enigmatic IRS agent (Will Smith) involves himself in the lives of seven troubled people.
Review: SEVEN POUNDS is a really frustrating film. On the one hand, it’s a very well made tearjerker, but on the other, it’s so bloody melodramatic that at times the film almost becomes laughable. This one of those films, like THE NOTEBOOK, where the emotion is ramped up to eleven throughout, and is so saccharine at times, that felt like getting my teeth drilled after watching it.
I actually really enjoyed the story (which ventures into rather dark territory for a Will Smith film), but I wish the approach had been a little more subtle. Alas, in a Will Smith film, it seems there’s no room for subtlety. The attempts to fashion Smith’s character into a martyr/ savior goes way overboard in the last act, and the finale, which is supposed to be moving, ventures awfully close to camp.
To be fair to Mr. Smith, he’s actually quite good here. There’s a reason he’s a mega star, and Smith is always good, even if the films are sometimes weak. Obviously, this is his Oscar-bait film, which re-teams him with Italian director Gabriele Muccino, who directed the similarly ambitious THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (hate that misspelling!), which boasted Smith finest performance to date. Judging from the early reception to the film, I strongly doubt that it’ll cop any Oscar noms, but that’s not to say Smith doesn’t bring his A-game to the role, which calls on him to do a heck of a lot of emoting over the two hour running time, and I lost track of the number of times a single tear rolls down his cheek in a moment of drama.
The film also boasts an impressive supporting cast, but as this is a Will Smith vehicle through and through. Other than Rosario Dawson as the obligatory love interest, they get very little to do. Dawson, as always, is good (although she looks a little too sexy for a woman who supposed to be dying from a bad heart), and Woody Harrelson also makes an impression as a blind man who’s among the people St. Will tries to heal. That said, there’s something that happens with his character at the very end that drove me mental, but in the interest of keeping this as spoiler free as possible I will not reveal what.
All in all, I liked SEVEN POUNDS, but it frustrated me, as it could have easily been an excellent film rather than simply a decent one. Still, not a bad tearjerker for the holiday season and as Smith’s in it, it’ll probably make a mint.
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