Seven Pounds (12A)

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The Independent Culture

How much good could a do-gooder do if a do-gooder could do good?

That's the question at the heart of this redemption drama starring Will Smith as a tax auditor who is mysteriously disposed to random acts of goodwill.

The enigmatic opening – a man calls 911 about a suicide that's yet to happen – ushers in a story of guilt and atonement as Smith's programme of altruism takes him to the hospital bed of heart patient Rosario Dawson. Soppy romance and excruciating piety cling to the film like bindweed, summoning the ghost of sobfest Pay It Forward, with the divine parallels of self-sacrifice taken to extremes of righteous absurdity. Smith should get out a bit more instead of grooming himself for secular sainthood. The single useful lesson of the story goes almost unnoticed: don't talk on your BlackBerry while at the wheel in speeding traffic.