Will Smith is a true American gift.
I love him, you love him, everyone loves him. And it’s easy to understand why: he’s charismatic, and funny, and super real and gives off ‘cool dad’ vibes that don’t make you want to roll your eyes and punch him.
As an actor, he’s good too. He’s starred in a variety of different roles and proved his skills are diverse. He can play a hilariously useless 90s kid from the ‘burbs just as well as he can play a hustler (I’m referring to Fresh Prince and Focus, obviously).
So you may be shocked to discover Will Smith hasn’t broken a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes in over 20 years.
That’s almost two thirds of his career.
You might be shocked. Or maybe, like me, you were not as shocked as you thought you would be because, honestly, it kinda makes sense.
The last of Will’s films which hit over the 70% mark was Enemy of the State in 1998 with a whopping 71%. Since then he has appeared in 20 films
Only five of those 20 are considered ‘fresh’ films: I Am Legend, MIB III, Hitch, Pursuit of Happyness, and Ali. Despite that, they still haven’t cracked 60%.
His highest rating movie? Men In Black (1997) with 92%.
And his lowest was After Earth (2013) with 11%. Rough.
Will’s movies are great entertainment value but, let’s be real, his ratings would not be good enough in the real world. As far as performance reviews go, a 70% average maintained over 20 years with no improvement is not good. The man would be out of a job.
So the question is WHY? Why hasn’t old mate been able to get a decent Rotten Tomatoes rating for so long?
Fans are behind him, he gets good jobs in good movies with good production value (I mean, Aladdin??).
Most people, however, are defending Will’s honour.
Personally, I don’t trust Rotten Tomatoes. Focus is one of my favourite movies of all time and it only got a measly 56%. It’s a rigged system and I won’t be told otherwise.
Long live King Will.