I’m going to blow everyone’s minds and start out by saying I don’t like Will Smith. Never have, since he always typically plays the same characters that are bent on saving the world in some CGI kind of way. Not to mention the fact in every interview he refers to the release of his movies as “Big Willy Weekends” that will surely gross over 100 million dollars because people love him so much.
He’s not wrong, because all but a couple have grossed over that amount, especially in his heyday in the late nineties. He was unstoppable, even from disasters like Wild Wild West (1999). He was arguably one of the biggest stars of the generation thanks to his hit sitcom Fresh Prince and his wildly popular franchise Men in Black.
Last weekend, Focus opened up in theaters which is a new film from directors I really admire Glenn Ficarra and John Requa who were responsible for one of the best Jim Carrey films I Love You Phillip Morris and the smash romantic comedy hit Crazy, Stupid Love. But it would seem their work alongside Will Smith’s have worn thin, so far only raking in forty Million dollars worldwide in the last week. It was not a Big Willy Weekend and the critics have not been kind.
I do like Men in Black, Ali is a class act of a movie, and even Hancock had its moments, but for the most part I do not like Smith’s movies and am cracking a smile looking at his last ten years of filmography. Did anyone else but me notice he took a three year break after Hancock and Seven Pounds in 2008? He was red hot then staring in almost two movies a year that were surefire blockbusters. And three years? That’s long for even Daniel Day Lewis. He returned in 2012 with Men in Black III and that was a massive hit, but since then things have gone downhill. Maybe that break was a little too long, causing his star to start to fade a little.
After Earth was a disaster. I get his desire to work with his son, but the Sci-fi kid flick was extremely cheesy, earning Razzie awards left and right. He did appear in Anchorman, but did anyone really care? It was sort of a wasted cameo although an unexpected one. It’s hard to even count it since he’s in the film for all of two minutes.
That goes for his only role in 2014 too. Did anyone manage to sit through Winter’s Tale? I went on a first date with my current girlfriend and we were stunned silent by the film’s awfulness and both hoped in our heads that the other one didn’t like it. It’s basically Colin Farrell who can travel to different time periods that rides a magical flying horse that is really a dog who helps him evade Russell Crowe who is trying to kill him for no apparent reason while he falls in love with this girl who he can kill if they sleep together because she has this rare disease that makes her die if she gets hot. Will Smith plays the devil… of some kind. I don’t think I need to say anymore.
Now there’s Focus, which looked kind of promising but has now entered onto the growing list of Smith’s recent failures. Sure he has a lot of films in production like a football drama called Concussion and The Suicide Squad. I think Smith does have dramatic talent and is good when he’s not trying to be funny, cocky, or a superhero. I think his career would resurge if he put aside his “Big Willy Weekend” ego and search for a smaller intimate drama. Maybe it’s just me who thinks he has either jumped the shark or gone way down hill, but then again I was never much of a fan. Do you agree? He certainly isn’t who he was before. For fans of this guy, I hope he finds a juicy dramatic role to shake off all the recent crap he’s done. Focus is in theaters now if you’re searching for something to go see. Apparently this weekend’s crop of films like Chappie and Vince Vaughn’s Unfinished Business are some of the year’s worst already.
By: Ryan Uytdewilligen