Will Smith Needs to Focus on Being a Great Actor Again

Bad title puns courtesy of the editor

Bad title puns courtesy of the editor

Yesterday I watched the movie "Focus".

You may, probably not though, remember this movie. It came earlier this year and it starred Will Smith and Margot Robbie. The movie was pretty blasé. It was a paint by the numbers heist movie with way too many moving parts. When you figured out who the mark was and who the thief was, boom, they shifted to two other people, that in my case, I'd forgotten about.

Now this movie could've been great. The first part, that takes place in New Orleans, is halfway decent. There's good dialogue and a cool montage of the thieves doing their thing. Then, inexplicably, they flash forward three years and now the two main characters are in Buenos Aires. This is where the movie falls off the rails. The story becomes way convoluted for its own good. There's too many twists and it doesn't work. Not for me at least. Margot Robbie and Will Smith do have pretty good chemistry and they almost make this movie watchable. Almost.

This brings me to what I really want to talk about today. What happened to Will Smith? He was, he still kind of is, a pretty damn good actor. Watch his performance in "Ali" or "The Pursuit of Happyness" or even "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". He's pretty good at the drama, and I really like him in comedic roles. His bit part in "Anchorman 2" as an ESPN broadcaster at the big news team brawl is quite funny. But, why does he take roles in movies that are down right terrible? "After Earth" I kind of understand. His son was the star and he wanted to help him on set, but that movie is horrible. Why did he make the terribly melodramatic movie "Seven Pounds" a couple years ago? That movie was a slap in the face to dramatic movies. It seemed like it wanted you to cry, but it was just a stupid, stupid movie. Why did he appear, as Satan I might add, in the movie "Winter's Tale"? That movie is an abomination and his role is garbage.

Even big budget movies like "Independence Day" and "Wild, Wild West" he can't save. I know a lot of people adore "Independence Day". It's one of my wife's favorite movies, but that movie is a turd. Will Smith is good in it, but that script and that director had no idea what they wanted to do. I loathe that movie. I guess, in Will Smith's case, this was his first big time starring role, so I understand a little bit why he took it. But, "Wild, Wild West"? Come the hell on. Not only is this one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but it's terribly, horribly racist. I can't believe that script didn't get rejected a thousand times. And the giant spider is a monstrosity.

Now, I don't mean to bad mouth Will Smith. Like I said before, I really like him. He's charismatic and you can't take your eyes off him him when he's on screen. He commands your attention. I'm more upset with the choices he's making lately. I just don't get it. "Focus" should have, and could have, been a really good movie, but the script was too loaded and didn't come together. I wish Will Smith would go back to doing smaller movies like "Pursuit of Happyness" or "Six Degrees of Separation". He's phenomenal in "Six Degrees of Separation". Go watch that movie and marvel at how well Smith acts in that movie. Considering his role and where he was at that time in his career, his performance is truly incredible. So, please Mr. Smith go back to the smaller independent movies and stop making big budget flops.

You're a better actor than that and you deserve better.


Ty is the Pop Culture Editor for SeedSing and the co-host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He has hopes for Will Smith, yet in Ty's eyes DJ Jazzy Jeff has had a great carrer. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.