Willard Carroll Smith Jr. is popularly known as ‘Will Smith’ is Pennsylvania born American actor, rapper and media personality. He was being called “the most powerful actor in Hollywood” by Newsweek in 2007, Forbes ranked him as the most bankable star worldwide. The winner of four Grammy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards nominee Smith had his breakthrough with the television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Where the Day Takes You (1992)
Will Smith made his film debut in the Marc Rocco’s 1992 drama Where the Day Takes You. The film portraits the life of teenage runaways as they strive to pull through the streets of Los Angeles.
A group of youngsters, with King as their leader, a man in his early twenties who spends most of his nights with Little J and Greg or in the jail. One night, Little J and Greg get into an argument and they part ways. Greg soon gets arrested and admits to being addicted to drugs. Meanwhile, King and Heather have trouble earning money; Tommy Ray beats up Manny to find out whereabouts of King, where he is shot and left to die by Little J. Will plays the legless crippled character, Manny. King sets out to start a new life at a new destination, but decides to look out for Greg, as Little J tries to save him from police, shots were fired leaving King dead and tears in Heather’s eyes.
The film gained cheerful reviews for convincing acting of the cast, though failed at the box office. It was although nominated for the “Critics Awards” at the Deauville Film Festival and won the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Independence Day (1996)
Roland Emmerich’s directed science fiction action film Independence Day focuses on the aftermath of an attack by an extra-terrestrial race, as the people launch a counter-attack on the 4th of July, Independence Day of the United States. Will appeared as a Marine Corps pilot in this movie.
A gigantic mothership Unidentified Flying Object about one fourth the mass of the Moon, takes place over some major cities, deploying assault forces. David Levinson, decrypt a signal determining alien’s countdown timer for a co-ordinated attack. President Thomas J. Whitmore orders immediate mass evacuation of Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. but it’s too late. Will Smith portraying the character Captain Steven Hiller force an alien to crash land sacrificing his plane. The unconscious alien was transported to Area 51 for its further investigation where it reveals its plans. David explains the deactivating of aliens’ shield by uploading a virus allowing U.S Military squadrons to destroy the entire saucer, as the humans rejoice in victory.
Independence Day grossed a total of $817 million worldwide becoming the highest-grossing film of 1996 and 72nd highest-grossing film of all time. The film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing.
The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 autobiographical drama by Gabriele Muccino based on the life of entrepreneur Chris Gardner. Will Smith plays Gardner, a homeless salesman, his son Jaden Smith debuts as Gardner’s son.
Chris Gardner invested his entire life savings in the portable bone-density scanner, a device that produces a picture quite denser than X-rays but is very expensive, consequently failing to sell those machines, financial instability erodes his marriage as Linda has to work double shifts to meet their growing financial demands. While putting efforts to sell one of the scanners, Chris met Jay Twistle, a manager for Dean Witter Reynolds, impressing him by solving a Rubik’s Cube during a taxi ride earns him the chance to become an intern stockbroker. A day before the interview Gardner is ordered to spend the night in jail, having to pay for numerous accumulated parking tickets, but he manages to reach the office on time the following day still in his shabby clothes, wearing his undershirt, a grey jacket, and jeans but still impresses the interviewers to be among 20 interns to compete for paid position. Lisa, unhappy with Chris’s unpaid internship leaves him and their son. Gardner and his son end up homeless when his bank account is garnished by IRS for unpaid income taxes, and the circumstances forcing them to stay at homeless shelters. On his last day of the internship the manager Martin Frohum congratulates him as he lets Chris know that he has won the coveted full-time position, Gardner fights back tears, shakes hands with them and rushes to his son’s day-care to embrace Christopher, thus creating one of the most iconic scenes of Hollywood.
The Pursuit of Happyness is a brilliant film with exceptional acting performances. Smith was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. The screenplay is based on the best-selling memoir of the same name written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe.
Ali is a 2001 biographical sports drama written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, it focuses on life of the great boxer Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith.
Cassius Clay Jr. (Will Smith) debuting against then heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Clay wins the championship becoming the second-youngest heavyweight champion at the time. Clay is invited to the home of the Nation of Islam leader, where he granted the named Muhammad Ali. Ali marries Sonji Roi but they get separated when she objects to various obligations Muslim women have. Ali is later sentenced five years in prison when he refuses conscription for the Vietnam war. His conviction is overturned after three years, and Ali marries Belinda Boyd. In the “Fight of the Century”, Ali has the first loss of his career. Ali tires Foreman and finally knocks him out to regain the Heavyweight Championship. The end credits include the great Muhammad Ali requesting for the proceeds of the film to go to his long-time friend Ali-Alsafar.
The realistic fight scenes of the film were one of its selling points. Except for the outstanding performance by Smith, he gained weight to make his character look the part of Muhammad Ali. Will Smith was nominated for 74th Academy Awards, 59th Golden Globe Awards and won the 2002 MTV Movie Awards for the best actor.
Seven Pounds (2008)
Seven Pounds is a 2008 drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino as he reunites with Will Smith. Will Smith stars as a man who tries to change the lives of seven people.
Ben Thomas (Will Smith) determines to correct his wrongdoings by donating his various organs to seven selected yet worthy people of his wish. He plays an IRS man and spends time meeting sick people. Will donates his lungs to his brother, one of his kidneys to the patient named George, the coach of a junior hockey team; Nicholas a younger patient at the same hospital as George was donated bone marrow by Ben, he too gave a part of his liver to a woman named Holley Apelgren. He meets Connie Tepos upon holly’s suggestion, an abused yet scared woman whom he gifts his beach house to provide her and her children a safe home. Ben later meets a blind man and a woman named Emily, he starts to fall for her as he spends time with her, during that evening, the ‘real’ Ben shows up demanding Tim (Will Smith) return his IRS credentials who was impersonating as “Ben”. Tim when finds that the chances of finding a donor for Emily are very critical, he executes his final act of committing suicide making sure his heart is left with Emily and his cornea is donated to the blind man Ezra.
This film connects its audience emotionally and morally with the lead character, as Will Smith and his co-stars give a lovely performance.
Hancock is a 2008 American superhero comedy film featuring Will Smith as its lead character directed by Peter Berg. Will Smith plays John Hancock a superhero whose reckless action cost the city Los Angeles loss of million dollars.
John Hancock is an alcoholic superhero who is hated by the people for his drunken and careless act once rescues Ray Embrey, a public relations specialist, from a train and in return Ray helps Hancock to improve public image. Hancock goes to prison until his proper need for ray’s suggestion. Hancock is eventually released to prevent a bank robbery upon his success he much praised as a hero. Later when Hancock discovers the superpowers of Mary, he flies to inform Ray only to be chased by Mary and cause battle across the city creating havoc. Mary addresses Hancock is her husband from the past as Ray confronts witnessing their fight. Meanwhile, Parker escapes prison with some of his mates seeks revenge against Hancock, as he tries to kill him Ray cuts off Parker’s hand and rescues Hancock. John throws himself out of the hospital, increasing the distance from Mary trying to help her live being injured in the crossfire.
The film although received mixed reviews from the critics grossed 624million dollars worldwide becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2008.