The Simple Explanation: Why flop artist will Smith is still a star

One thing that is really hard to explain to young adults today is Will Smith. As far as the Zed generation and millennials are concerned, Smith is just this guy who keeps making really big fat movie flops ­— over and over again, as if he is a nimbus cloud raining flops on our heads.

Where else do you find an actor who gets away with this much flopping? Usually, after just one turkey, Ellen and Graham Norton delete your number.

Yet the media keeps treating Smith like a real movie star instead of a pariah.

He is currently doing publicity rounds for his latest film, Bad Boys 4 Life, and oh, the fawning and the swooning, all the adoration and gushing love. As if it is not going to flop just like Gemini Man did.

Sit down Gen Z Kylie Jenner fan, and let Uncle Ernest explain.

Will Smith was not always a prolific flop artist. Back when you were yet to be conceived, gestated and born, he was quite the opposite. Fresh Prince was legitimately one of the biggest stars in the world.

He started as a top teen rap star then proceeded to helm one of the biggest TV sitcoms of all time, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. (Imagine Modern Family but when the stars are the youngsters, not the oldies. Or imagine Nickelodeon shows but being watched by everyone, including full, grown, adult people, not just you little larvae.) Then he went on, right after that, to make some awesome movies. They called him Mister July because the biggest summer blockbuster of the year was always a Will Smith Movie (Back then American summer started in July, not like these days of climate change, when summer starts immediately after the Oscars are done.)

He was not just a huge movie star: he also made massive hit songs — the kind of hits that Chris Brown can’t resist ripping off when he is out of ideas.

Or maybe I should replace the word “when” with the word “because”, since these days every time I hear a nose snorting out a bar from a nineties song, it turns out to be Chris Brown. He didn’t get enough copying done when he jacked Bobby Brown and James Brown’s surnames and attitudes towards women.

Will was also very charming. So much so that his stardom transcended entertainment and he became a hit personality, not just a personality with hits. He was so charismatic, funny, affable, and so cool that he was able to make everyone fall in love with him to the point where nothing could take him down. We just loved the man so much that we could not stand to let go of that love, not even when he started making bad movies; even though Concussion was so bad it made me wish I had a remote control in the cinema so I could change channels. I am sure no one in the auditorium would complain.

And Gemini Man was so bad that if it was on YouTube I would have subscribed to the ad and skipped the video.

Not even when he brought his son in to help him make a really really bad movie: After Earth was so bad that, when we were watching it, my date asked me why I was crying. I explained that I wasn’t crying. My eyes were spitting in disgust.

But despite your failure to notice it, the world’s entertainment industry is still controlled by us Generation X. Magazines, showbiz shows, movies and TV producers, all run by Generation X.

That is why you rarely see original youth material on your TV and movie screens. It’s all reboots and remakes and rehashes of nineties things. That’s because we are in charge now. We, who were leaders of tomorrow yesterday are, as logic would dictate, the leaders of today.

And we looove Will Smith. No matter how many lousy movies he makes, we are not letting go of him. We don’t care what you think. Maybe when you take over the leadership of global entertainment as the leaders of tomorrow, you may replace him with another rapper-turned-actor. Maybe Lil Poopie Dirt will turn to movies, but until then we are not letting go of Will.

And even if Bad Boys 4 Life turns out to be another flop, we are still going to swoon again when he stars in Hancock 2.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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