top of page
  • Writer's pictureArgus

Will Smith Is Back…To Making Subpar Movies

Will Smith’s first mainstream film after his Oscar debacle, Emancipation, is quite disappointing.


Emancipation, directed by Antoine Fuqua, stars Will Smith in his first major picture after his Oscar fiasco. We all know what happened during the Oscars last year, and some fans expected this film to be the beginning of Smith's redemption as an actor. However, he has missed the mark yet again. A movie about a runaway slave's journey to freedom, the execution is terrible, the visuals are appalling, and it's a very tiring watch.

Plot & Acting

The story revolves around Peter (Will Smith), an enslaved man living with his family on a plantation. One day he is sold and separated from his family to work building railroads for the Confederate army. He subsequently escapes and is chased by bounty hunters. The rest of the film revolves around him evading his pursuers and finding his way to Baton Rouge to join safety with the Union Army. The film has a plethora of weaknesses, but the acting is somewhat decent. Smith puts on a unique, different character than we are used to seeing him in, and his cast members do a decent job supporting him. However, the character development is lackluster, and several unnecessary characters are included who bear little meaning to the overall story’s significance.

Pros But Mostly Cons

The film is very realistic and accurate, with violent depictions and gory scenes that are highly characteristic of the atrocities that slaves endured during that time period. And that's where the strengths of the movie end. The plot has immense potential, but the director did an awful job of executing it. The film becomes painful to watch after some time and slowly starts to bore as the protagonist continues to get chased for over an hour straight. And while the film is historically very accurate, some of the scenes are unrealistic, as he somehow manages to kill an alligator underwater in a swamp and run/fight while bleeding from bullet wounds. However, the greatest weakness of the film is the directing and cinematography. Several random characters and cliche lines create scenes that make it hard for the audience not to cringe at. The entire movie is also very dull, not just in its story but in its visuals. While the director may have intended to create a black-and-white-styled film, the visuals' dullness compounds the storyline's dullness, resulting in a very boring, painful experience.

Closing Critiques

If you're planning on watching the film, don't have any expectations whatsoever. While it may be historically educational for people to watch, as it accurately depicts hardships endured by the enslaved people of the time, this is the last movie to watch for anyone simply looking to be entertained. Will's return to the spotlight has started off terribly, which begs the question, is Will Smith's acting career coming to an end?

Raving Rating: 5.3

bottom of page