Seven Pounds movie review: If you've seen the trailer, you know that the plot of this drama is supposed to be a secret, though it apparently involves a car crash and Will Smith doing a lot of running in the rain. Here's the bare bones: For some mysterious reason, Ben Thomas (Will Smith) has to help seven people, which involves first roaming around interviewing troubled strangers, trying to find out if he considers each of them a good person. The contenders include a woman (Rosario Dawson) who needs a heart transplant, a blind telemarketer (Woody Harrelson) and a victim of domestic abuse who needs a way out.
The buzz: The studio clearly assumes that people will see Seven Pounds because of Smith's box office clout--and just to find out what the devil is going on. Considering the movie comes from the director of the overrated The Pursuit of Happyness and a writer whose only experience is a couple episodes of 8 Simple Rules … and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, there's not much reason to be optimistic. Though Smith usually doesn't choose total stinkers.
The verdict: Is this a practical joke? Without spoiling anything, know that Seven Pounds is as monotone and manipulative as movies get, speaking almost completely in vague generalities (I'll make sure everything goes as planned) to string you along until it decides to tell a story. Which it never really does. The script overflows with questionable emotional choices that insult concepts of life, death and love while refusing to analyze guilt and atonement--even stooping to imply that some people deserve to live more than others. Dawson's performance is the lone bright spot in a film that's a lie and a tease, and boasts possibly the most ridiculous death scene you've seen this decade. Source: Metromix
Box Office: The film was released on December 19, 2008 in 2,758 theaters in the United States and Canada. It grossed an estimated $16 million, placing second at the weekend box office after Yes Man. The opening gross was the lowest for a film starring Smith since Ali in 2001. The gross was $5 million less than anticipated, partially ascribed to winter storms in the Northeast over the weekend.