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Mainstream - Seven Pounds - Will Smith

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Seven Pounds
Will Smith, Rosario Dawson
Directed by Gabrielle Muccino
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
125 minutes

Seven Pounds is seven tons. It is like watching paint dry when somebody puts up a fresh coat every five minutes. The only way the Seven Pounds DVD will make you cry is if you listen to the director’s commentary and realize how totally clueless director Gabrielle Muccino is as to how he totally missed the mark.

Muccino (of absolutely nothing fame) also says “We were afraid of revealing too much.”  It is because not enough is revealed and not revealed quickly enough that Seven Pounds really tests the viewer’s patience.

What a viewer would have needed to know early on to make Seven Pounds the “heartbreaking” drama it wanted to be is IRS agent Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is looking for seven people whose lives he can make better as some form of atonement and knowing what he is atoning for. As it takes half of this movie to barely set this up, Seven Pounds absolutely fails to get the viewer on board. Meanwhile, all Will Smith does is look grim, look happy, look grim, look happy.

By then it is too late. Too many half-assed flashbacks, too many disconnected bits of story, and a too vague idea as who the Will Smith character is (aside from the really plausible fact Thomas is an nice IRS agent)and what his motivations have made even a patient film fan give up.

One of the special features on the Seven Pounds DVD is the director commentary track which is also subtitled. Playing it while trying to get through this movie becomes interesting if only because you keep realizing Muccino has not a hope of a clue as to how what you see and what he says you are supposed to see are two totally different films.

As for suicide by jellyfish, getting trampled by reindeer while wearing a Santa suit would have been slightly more plausible.

Muccino closes with “this movie was incredibly challenging for me”. It is much more challenging for the viewer

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