Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How much does a typical newborn baby weigh? What is the smallest weight of bowling ball typically found in a bowling alley?

Seven Pounds may well be the worst movie I have ever seen.


I like Will Smith. But I'm not sure what he was thinking here. Apart from the sheer over-the-top drama of the premise there's the way the story is told. First, the premise:

A man, driving home with the fiance he has just proposed to, does a little texting-while-driving and crashes his car into a van, killing seven people, including his wife. To atone for his sin, he undertakes an elaborate scheme in which he gifts complete strangers he has discovered to be "good" people with life-changing gift, usually of the bodily organ variety. To make his machinations easier to pull off, he steals his brother's identity as an IRS agent. For his final act of charity, he kills himself so that he can give his heart to a woman with congenital failure who has the same rare blood part as he (even though he has by that point fallen in love with her).

This is ludicrous, purple stuff all on its lonesome.

But, and for me this was the real kicker, is that almost none of this is revealed until the last ten minutes of the film. We spend nearly the entire movie not knowing why Smith's character is doing any of this, what any of the scenes mean, what any of the context is. We spend it with no anchor, no reason to invest in the story apart from the curiosity to fill in those blanks. But the blanks are so many and so complete that we have no desire to fill them in. It's like a connect-the-dots with only three dots. There's no reason to try.

I usually like Will Smith. But I don't understand what he was getting at here.

Until Whenever

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