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Will Smith Reckons with Existence, Plays with Dominos in New ‘Collateral Beauty’ Trailer

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Following through on the soupy metaphysics and syrupy emotionality of past projects Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith completes his “All Along, the Meaning of Life… Was Love” trilogy on December 16 with David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty. A new trailer for the inspirational/”inspirational” morality play has surfaced online today, and it contains all the sky-high emotions, A Christmas Carol-but-with-a-soul narrative structuring, and elaborate domino structures that audiences would expect. It could certainly use more footage of Smith playing with dominos, but then, what movie couldn’t?

Smith portrays ad executive Howard Inlet, who shuts out the world and all its people after the traumatizing death of his beloved child. His best pals Michael Peña, Kate Winslet, and Ed Norton have grown concerned about him, especially now that the man has taken to writing letters addressed to abstract concepts. But the universe won’t let Howard turn away from life so easily, sending three emissaries to teach him about the joy and meaning of existence. First, Death comes to him in the aging-but-still-keepin’-it-tight form of Helen Mirren. Afterwards, he has a rendezvous with Time, appearing as up-and-comer polymath Jacob Latimore. He finally meets Love, who is played by Keira Knightley in what weirdly feels like typecasting.

The trailer suggests that he’ll arrive at some greater conclusion about the importance of love or believing in yourself or belabored screenplay premises, and re-embrace life and all its infinite mysteries. By that point, approximately ninety-or-so minutes will have passed. It only takes two and a half to watch the trailer embedded above.

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