For the most part, I trust movie critics. If Ebert says Transformers 2 is a festering pile of dung, I believe him. If the New York Times pans Ice Age 2, I have no reason to think otherwise.
Hence, I started watching Will Smith’s Seven Pounds two nights ago with the lowest of expectations. After all, the reviews were dreadful. Beyond dreadful. “Seven Pounds feels like having Love Story and Beaches burnt onto your retinas in the style of A Clockwork Orange,” wrote someone from TotalFilm.com. Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times was even harsherâ€””(The film) compounds the schmaltz in a tale of goody-goody benefaction and glutinous redemption, whose plot the distributors mercifully injunct us from revealing. Enough to say that hearts are sundered and united on screen while churning stomachs in the auditorium are left to fend for themselves.”
So I watched.
And loooooooooooved it. Absolutely loved it.
Sure, the plot was grim. And uncomfortable. There were no happy-happy, life-is-fantastic moments to feel great about. I can’t imagine anyone leaving the theatre in a gleeful skip. But the plot was engrossing, the texture raw. Best of all, there is Smith. I still remember the Fresh Prince’s blockbuster debut in Independence Day 13 years ago. He was very good in what goes down as an unremarkable film, but predictable. Every emotion came at your like a sledgehammer. There was nothing delicate or sly. Just blunt. Now, with time, Will Smith has developed into one of America’s best actors. I’m not saying he’s Redford, but the guy wears pain, fatigue, hurt as well as any thespian out there. He’s no longer merely the smooth, fun-loving guy from Hitch (a truly bad movie). He’s found his chops, and they’re legit.
I’m babbling. If you haven’t seen Seven Pounds, see it. And if you have, and disagree with me, lemme know why. Because I’m at a loss.