Let's cut to the chase. Will Smith is a versatile, likable, and a unique actor. If there were to be an extensive list of prerequisites to becoming a successful actor, Big Willie would have checked all boxes effortlessly. The man's a singer, he can groove, he can blend into any role with élan' and execute it to perfection. He debuted as Manny, a cripple in the '92 American drama, 'Wherever the Day Takes You' which tells the story of teenage runaways trying to survive on the streets of Los Angeles.
While he initially gained fame as the rap star Fresh Prince, he cut it as an A-list actor on silver and small screens over the years, while unequivocally demonstrating his own commercial viability and sturdy appeal to a broad cross-section of viewers. Guest appearances included, he's crossed well over 40 films as an actor, and Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer shows a healthy rating close to 85% of his movies. However, there has been a considerable slump that the actor has suffered and a Digital Spy story further supplements this theory.
The scorecard just goes on to say that Smith isn't really a fresh prince anymore. Now don't get us wrong, he's an absolute superstar and 'Men in Black' just took his career graph to whole new heights. Back in the 2000as, he was a pretty bankable star, raking in the big bucks, as he once boasted eight consecutive movies grossing over $100m at the US box office. 2008 was when the slide slowly began.
His movies 'Seven Pounds', 'After Earth' and 'Concussion' raked in a meager $70mn, $61mn and $35 mn. Now compare this to his movies that raked in the moolah in the three-figure mark. His fairly recent 'Suicide Squad' was a relatively better outing for Smith as the anti-hero, Deadshot. 'Aladdin' was neat, but he still has to get over the slump, 'Bright', 'Focus' and 'After Earth' caused. Leading us to look at how 'Gemini Man' may be a risky move and how 'Bad Boys For Life' may just be the movie to resurrect a stuttering career.
Sci-fi movies have usually done well for the 'Renaissance Man' barring 'Bright' and 'Afterlife', so assuming 'Gemini Man' can pull a rabbit outta the hat, Smith can look at this genre to deliver him out of the straits. His roles in 'MIB' and 'Bad Boy' were instant successes courtesy the comic element he brought in. Smith and Martin Lawrence return as buddy cop duo Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett and this movie in a way is all about legacy.
'Bad Boys' (1995) launched the film careers of Smith and director Michael Bay while helping Lawrence transition from a leading man on TV to one in movies. It grossed $141.4 million dollars on a $19 million budget. 'Bad Boys II' (2003) grossed $273.4 million worldwide. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are jumping on to the legacy bandwagon with 'Terminator: Dark Fate' and 'Rambo: Last Blood' looking to make a definitive final stand, and perhaps Smith is trying to take the same route.
So far, the trailer of 'Bad Boys for Life' promises a thrilling return for the charismatic Smith, and our money is definitely on the buddy-cop action movie to help Smith claw his way back to the top. In the meantime, 'Gemini Man', is slated to hit screens this October. It follows Henry Brogan (Smith), an aging government assassin seeking to exit his career who finds himself going up against a younger clone of himself named Junior, who's able to predict his every move. With no other choice, Henry must uncover the truth behind Junior's creation and save him from going down the same dark path he did, all while fighting against a corrupt system determined to retire him at all costs.
That's an interesting plotline, but as long is it doesn't turn out to be a damp squib, safe to say, Smith can arrest that slide and get back to where he rightfully belongs. Right at the top.