I am going to see Hancock tomorrow. I've been looking forward to this movie for probably over a year, since it was just a vague premise under its original title, "Tonight, He Comes." I've also been thinking about Will Smith movies in general. In the early stages of his career, I considered him infallible. This changed after a few missteps (which, like his successes, were colossal). But it's been mostly good, which is impressive, considering he has starred in AT LEAST one movie per year since 1995.
I decided to look through his filmography and catalogue his Top Best and Top Worst movies, in my opinion. In my opinion, here they are, in fun countdown order:
THE TOP FOUR BEST WILL SMITH MOVIES
4. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) -- One of my favorite movies of that year. Smith is wonderful in this inspiring adaptation of a true story.
3. Enemy of the State (1998) -- I don't remember too many specifics about this movie, but I remember it being an impressive thriller with a lot of good stuff in it.
2. Independence Day (1996) -- One of my favorite action movies of all time. Amazing cast, awesome action, and a marriage of script and performance that never gets old.
1. Men in Black (1997) -- One of the best overall movies of all time, hands down. A script so well-written and perfectly performed. I don't expect Big Will will ever top this. But I enjoy seeing him try.
Honorable Mentions: I, Robot (2004), and I Am Legend (2007).
THE TOP FOUR WORST WILL SMITH MOVIES
4. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) -- I never actually saw this movie, but I was on a plane once (either going to or coming from France) and this was up on the little TVs without volume. It looked kinda boring. Consider this entry a testament to how few bad movies Smith has actually made.
3. Shark Tale (2004) -- I didn't see this either, but I think I saw a part of it once. It doesn't stink because of anyone in it; it's just another one of those generic bullshit DreamWorks CGI projects with a ginormous cast (and nothing else of interest).
2. Wild Wild West (1999) -- This was the definitive moment when I realized Will Smith was, indeed, not infallible. This movie, from Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld, was one of the biggest wastes of money and talent the world has ever seen. I challenged myself to think of one thing about it I liked. I could only come up with the train full of gadgets that I think there was. And the Will Smith music video.
1. Men in Black II (2002) -- I actually couldn't decide which was worse; Wild Wild West or this, also from the frighteningly incapable Barry Sonnenfeld. I decided this was worse, not just because of how bad it is, but because it destroyed one of the most promising franchises of all time. The one thing I liked about it was the brief moment where Will Smith and Biz Markie speak in an alien beatbox language. And the Will Smith music video.
I've been avoiding the big spoilery trailer for Hancock. I've heard the audio for it a few times, but avoided the video every time. Despite this, I've still picked up a few peripheral images here and there. Finally, tomorrow, I can be staring at the screen when the entire story is flashed before my eyes. I just hope it's good. This time, they don't have a music video.