05 January 2009

Seven Pounds

Well, Seven Pounds is by far the worst Will Smith movie I have seen. The wife and I were discussing whether we were even going to see it after the bad reviews and sub-standard box office run it was having. After I looked back and realized that the last two years have started off with Will Smith movies, we decided to go for it. Bad idea. Luckily, we got up early, drove to the closest AMC, paid only $4 a piece, and got free popcorn with our Movie Watcher card. That is where the fun ended. I have strung spoilers throughout the following paragraphs to spare you watching this. If you feel you must see this film without knowing it all, you can go to the last paragraph for the final thoughts.

Spoilers Start:
Will Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS worker. It opens with Ben calling 9-1-1 and asking for an ambulance to his location for a suicide….his. Then, we go back. This is getting old. I am tired of this trend. It is no longer fun, thrilling, or surprising. It is boring, expected, and down right unoriginal.

1. Ben is seen calling and verbally abusing poor blind customer service agent Ezra, played by Woody Harrelson. After trying to make him cry, cuss, or hang-up, Ben hangs up.

2. Ben then goes to a hospital to meet Emily Posa, played by Rosario Dawson. She needs a heart transplant. He gets more involved with her. I will expand on this later.

3. While at the hospital, he sees a young boy that needs a bone marrow transplant.

4. Next we meet George, a hockey coach for Latinos. I am not sure what he needs medically, but Ben is able to help.

5. Ben then goes to meet with a social worker that he has a history with, Holly. We find out later, that she needed a kidney, and he donated his.

6. While in her office, he finds a lady that needs to get away from her abusive husband, but she can’t. Ben gives her is house.

7. To round out the seven, his brother, the actual IRS Agent Ben Thomas, needed a lung, and Will Smith’s Ben donated that.

Why would he do this you ask? Well, it turns out that while text messaging and driving, Will Smith’s Ben Thomas, whose actual name is Tim, wrecks into a van that flips and kills seven people, including his life. So why seven pounds? Because of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice! DUH! Who didn’t know that? That is part of the problem with this movie. Not enough people are going to get the reference. I didn’t at first until my wife said it was a Shakespeare reference, after she looked into it. I then remembered the Merchant of Venice. I have not read that play in years.

But, I will get back to the movie now. Emily is a sweet person who is way behind in her taxes and bill paying for her medical expenses. Well, Ben falls in love with her, and because he is an aero engineer, he is able to fix her antique press that no one can. That way, she can get back to making cards and invitations like she did before her heart started to give out.

On a fateful night, after sex, Ben goes to the hospital to ask the chances of Emily’s survival. He is told slim-to-none. He then calls his childhood friend Dan, played by Barry Pepper, and tells him it is time. Ben then goes back to his room and kills himself. We are then supposed to figure out that Dan is a lawyer and that he is in charge of making sure the right people get the right bodyparts. So, now, a man has selflessly sacrificed his life so you can live. Now, he will just be forgotten. The burden of that will never weigh on you. That is not selfless. That is selfish.

Spoilers Over:
This is the second joint venture with director Gabriele Maccino and Will Smith. The Pusuit of Happyness was infinitely better. This was writer Grant Nieport’s first major movie. Other than this, he had done a few episodes of 8 Simple Rules and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He should stick to television. While it was nice to see Weeds’ Andy Milder in a movie, I would not recommend wasting the two hours on this film. To the wife's disappointment, no bomb went off to kill everybody. Verdict: Just read the spoilers I left up top and be done with it. That is why I do this: To save you money.

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