Star power: will certainly Smith, left, and also Rosario Dawson pose with each other at the premiere of "Seven Pounds" in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

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"Seven Pounds" opens with will certainly Smith make a call call.

"I require an ambulance," he says. "There's to be a suicide."

"Who's the victim?" asks the 911 operator.

"I am."

Consider this a warning. If you like Smith for his levity and also charm, skip this movie. The title "Seven Pounds" refers to the shak spa pound-of-flesh metaphor, an interpretation a figurative debt that requirements to be payment back. Blacksmith plays Ben Thomas, a male who feels the should do great things in order come compensate because that a tragic past event.If you're frustrated by my vagueness, save in mind this movie plays that is cards close to the vest, lest the gimmick behind Ben's pseudo-karmic journey be too quickly revealed. We can only watch together he engages in non-specific dialogue through close girlfriend Dan (Barry Pepper) about a setup being implemented and also wonder why Ben functions so difficult to protect against his brother (Michael Ealy).

2.5 the end OF 4 STARS

'Seven Pounds'

Rated: PG-13 because that thematic material, some disturbing content, a step of sensuality

Cast: will certainly Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Run time: 123 minutes

It's apparent this is a man with a most baggage, and also we get the feeling he's attempting to be an earthly angel -- or, as the opening lines suggest, a sacrificial lamb. Odds are, he's not a creepy stalker through dastardly intentions, otherwise he wouldn't be played by will Smith, America's movie-star sweetheart, or the topic of a mainstream movie released throughout the holiday season.

We see Ben flashing a large smile and an IRS badge so the can obtain into strangers' houses, and also then proceeds to channel mary Worth, questioning them intensely personal questions and meddling v their lives. He's spring for great people with, us assume, serious clinical conditions, due to the fact that he hangs roughly hospitals and retirement homes. Most notably, there's a remote pianist/telephone customer-service rep Ezra (Woody Harrelson), and also a beautiful graphic designer v a debilitating cardiac condition, Emily (Rosario Dawson).

It's within the heavy-handed nature of this film that the woman through the literally broken heart will be the subject of Ben's romantic interest -- and also follows Hollywood protocol that the two many attractive civilization in the movie must autumn in love. Emily is top top the transplant list and also can right walk her monster that a good Dane there is no collapsing. You'd think sex would certainly be verboten, but we're not supposed to ask the question.

The difficulty isn't smith or Dawson, that exhibit part palpable chemistry, and give performances sincere enough to stave turn off our alienation. But they're compelled to slog with a relentlessly maudlin dirt bog the a screenplay that forces "Seven Pounds" come a crawl. Ben's life together we suffer it is utterly devoid of feeling or also feel-good sentiment. Rather, his story grabs her heartstrings, then proceeds to extract the whole organ v a hearty yank. Probably this drag of a bummer the a downer the a movie should have been called "Seven Tons," due to the fact that it certain feels prefer it.

E-mail john Serba: jserba

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