Take a look at Will Smith‘s IMDB page and you’ll notice that over the last 15 years he’s made four movies with four top-ranked directors — Fred Schepisi‘s Six Degrees of Separation (’94), Tony Scott‘s Enemy of the State (’98), Michael Mann‘s Ali (’00) and Robert Redford‘s The Legend of Bagger Vance (’01). And Redford’s film (a.k.a., Bag of Gas) was probably his worst and therefore barely counts.

The rest of Smith’s directors have all been journeymen — nice guy professsionals (Barry Sonnenfeld, Peter Berg) but mainly fellows who can shoot a film in focus, get it in on time, etc, but none of them visionaries or even marginally outside the box. 25 years hence which films will Smith be remembered for? Ali and what else? The man only has a few years to knuckle down and work with the AA-quality directors, or history will not remember him with any great respect or kindliness.