Will Smith may have rocketed to the top of the Hollywood A-list a quarter of a century ago and remained there ever since by largely leaning into his undeniable star power and natural charisma to headline a string of successful summer blockbusters, but he’s not averse to the idea of a hard-hitting dramatic performance if the occasion calls for it.
The former Fresh Prince landed a pair of Academy Award nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, while he also earned a Golden Globe nod for Concussion, but his track record in the realm of awards baiting prestige dramas is very hit or miss, with the aforementioned titles counterbalanced by duds like Seven Pounds and Collateral Beauty.
The latter was a particularly transparent grab for trophies, roping in a star-studded cast to tell the story of Smith’s advertising executive, who retreats from his own life, forcing his friends to try and reconnect with him as he writes letters to Love, Time and Death, which bring surprising and unexpected replies. It’s certainly a unique idea, but the execution falls painfully flat.
As you’d expect from an ensemble headlined by Will Smith that also features Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet, along with multi-time nominees Keira Knightley and Edward Norton, the acting is far from the movie’s major problem. Instead, the narrative lets everyone down via a series of nonsensical and unintentionally hilarious reveals.
Neither critics or audiences were impressed, and Collateral Beauty earned just $88 million at the box office and wound up with a dismal 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s now available to stream on Netflix and it might well become the latest in a long line of flops to find new life on the platform.
Source: Giant Freakin Robot