Okay, here we have the mystery movie released at the start of the year starring Will Smith. Now, this is an interesting case in that upon the movies initial release, the plot details were kept a secret, particularly peculiar in that it is a film starring the biggest box-office draw in the world. The movie's plot details were kept more secret than Cloverfield, and I must admit that even after the film's release, the plot still remained a mystery to me. Also, the fact that it was released around Oscar-period was raising eyebrows, with rumours flying that Will Smith was going to be nominated for another Oscar for his performance. Now in my opinion, Smith is good in the film, but he is not great. It is rather a shame, because Smith is such a talented actor, and in my opinion he will become one of the biggest celebrity's in the world in the next decade, and surely win at least one Oscar as he continues to star in greater films with better roles catering to his obvious abilities. Unfortunately here, what we have on our hands once again is a case of what I call the "Will Smith Syndrome," in that he picks projects which unfortunately fall flat on their face, with their main merit being the fact that Will Smith is involved i.e Hancock and I Am Legend. But here, Will Smith is not even the main merit. Personally, I feel that the best acting performances come from the supporting roles by Rosario Dawson, who proves once again she is one of the best young female actresses in the world, and Woody Harrelson, who enforces once again the fact that his prescence in any film is a testament and always a good thing for any project, no matter how big or how small the role. Also, a testament to the film is how the film's big reveal(s) come in at the end of the film. The last ten/fifteen minutes of the film are exceptional and far better than what has preceded. This is mainly achieved by the competent editing work of Hughes Winborne, who splices the film together well so that the hints leading to the end are kept closely under wraps, giving a genuine surprise, the likes of which are hard to come across these days. However, unfortunately, despite the fact that there are numerous qualities involved in the film, including the last fifteen minutes, the film unfortunately seems to balance upon them and instead seems to lean on them as an excuse to let the rest of the film be unbalanced. For starters, while the ending is pulled off effectively, the script is unfortunately muddled up all over the place. It is a daring task to attempt to pull a plot of this fashion off. The only time I recall it ever really completely working was Memento. With this, it becomes muddled up horribly, and instead of being genuinely interesting, it ends up being at times rather boring. Also, director Gabriele Muccino, who also directed Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness falls to do a competent job of keeping control of the piece, instead letting it fall on it's face. The worst thing about this film is that it had been clearly released with Oscars in mind, but instead it is more or less doomed to fade into obscurity, for the film is too dull for cult film fans to watch, and the film is too far out for the Academy Awards to acknowledge. So all in all, the film really exists without any purpose or contribution to film whatsoever, and is merely an average film at best.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 5.4/10