Release Date: December 19, 2008
Click here for the Seven Pounds Trailer.
Academy Award Nominee Will smith reunites with director Gabriele Muccino(The Pursuit of Happiness) in Seven Pounds, an emotionally driven story that follows one man and is attempt to change seven lives.
Will Smith is Ben Thomas, an IRS agent hiding one very big secret. Two years ago, Ben was driving with his wife when they were in a car accident Ben caused. Seven people, including Ben's wife, were killed. Ben decides to take the road of redemption and believes it is within his power to drastically change the lives of seven deserving people. Ben sets out on his quest and starts by donating a lung lobe to his brother(Michael Ealy). Ben then decides to donate a part of his liver to Holly(Judyann Elder), a child services worker. George(Bill Smitrovich), a junior hockey coach, is Ben's next recipient. Ben gives George one of his kidneys. And finally Ben donates bone marrow to a boy named Nicholas)Quintin Kelley).
Looking for his final three people to help, Ben contacts Holly and asks her to find someone who needs help. Holly directs Ben to Connie Tepos, a woman who lives with her abusive boyfriend but is too afraid to leave. After not being able to take to take it anymore, Connie calls Ben, who gives her the keys and deed to his beach house. Connie moves in, free from the abuse and fear of her boyfriend. Ben then begins the search for his final two candidates. He contacts a man named Ezra Turner(Woody Harrelson), a blind, over-the-phone meat salesman. After being very cruel to Ezra, and not receiving an angered response, Ben knows he has found his next candidate.
With his IRS powers, Ben finds his seventh and final candidate, Emily Posa(Rosario Dawson), a self-employed wedding invitation/greeting card maker who suffers from a weak heart and a rare blood type. The two begin to fall in love, but when Emily's condition gets worse, Ben realizes what he must do. Ben leaves Emily at her house, and returns to the motel where he has been staying. He then fills the bathtub with ice and water and calls his friend Dan(Barry Pepper). Dan is to act as executor to Ben, to make sure everything Ben wishes happens. Ben then dumps a box jellyfish into the tub, which proceeds to electrocute Ben to death. After his death, Ben's corneas are given to Ezra who, thanks to Ben, has now been given the sight he was robbed of his entire life. Emily, having the same rare blood type as Ben, receives his heart. Ben's road to redemption is complete.
Will Smith has proven to be an incredible actor who can powerfully deliver those dramatic scenes. Working with the same director as the Pursuit of Happiness, Smith prepares to deliver a dramatic performance from start to finish. Smith does deliver a powerful performance, but it doesn't make up for some of the major flaws in this movie.
First off, the story was incredibly complex at the start and extremely hard to follow. The only way I was able to fully understand what was going on was to watch the entire move, which is probably a good way to keep audiences in the theater but a bad way to keep them interested. The beginning of the movie was very choppy and jumped around a lot, always giving you little tid bits of information here and there but never enough to fully comprehend what was going on. Most of the movie left you confused until the end when Michael Ealy's character semi-explained it all to you. And even after that you racked your brain trying to figure out which seven people he helped, who he was, and why he did what he did. The movie's plot was said to revolve around Will Smith's character drastically helping seven different people. But the story mainly focuses on Smith helping Rosario Dawson's character for the majority of the film. While this isn't a bad thing so to speak, it is if you make the movie out to seem like there is going to be more story with the other six recipients of Smith's help. But mainly it focuses on Smith and Dawson's characters.
Aside from the super confusing story, the acting was actually really good. Smith delivered a powerfully gripping performance with Dawson adding the softer, more innocent side. Kind of like I Am Legend the movie almost completely revolves around smith giving him a large majority of the screen time. But this isn't a bad thing because Smith is a very good actor.
I wish more would have been done with the way the story moved. It was very hard to follow and because of that it made the movie, which could have been a huge success, not enjoyable to watch. Despite the powerful performance from Smith, it just wasn't enough to save this movie from a poor storyline and sequence of events.
I give Seven Pounds 4 Acts of Generosity out of 10.
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