Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Movie Review:Seven Pounds

Will Smith is probably among the most bankable stars in Hollywood right now. He can do action, comedy, or drama. In  am Legend (2007) he was more or less alone onscreen for the vast majority of the movie...and carried it off. Clearly, he is more than just another pretty face.

In Seven Pounds (2008), widely considered his attempt for an Oscar, he plays Ben Thomas, a man haunted by some tragedy in his past.

Throughout the movie he tries to help seven random strangers. The most important is Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a woman dying due to heart problems. Thomas is also dying of a heart ailment...but his is mental rather than physical.

Seven Pounds then refers to the weight of a human pounds on average. It also refers to the theme of the story. Emily becomes the healing needed by Ben as she becomes his friend and shows him recovery from past tragedy is possible. 

Unfortunately, the script is extremely weak and the story rather shallow. As a result, director Gabriele Muccino is forced to rely on flashbacks, playing with time, and essentially hiding the story to stretch it out to feature film length. the story might be worthy of feature length, but as written it would have done better as a 30 minute after school special or Hallmark Holiday movie. 

There are some nice moments in the movie, but for the most part it really drags and also manages to irritate. The flashbacks and playing with time are more of a story than anything else and somehow manage to take what could be an excellent story and turn it into drek.

The movie is slightly redeemed by the two twists at the end, though all the clues to the result are there. I caught them, my wife caught one of them. The end was depressing, maudlin, and disappointing. This movie could have been great. It wasn't. It wasn't even good. Blech.

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