Hancock (2008) PG-13 92min
July 4th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 11,458 Views
Hancock (a.k.a. John Hancock, a.k.a. Tonight He Comes) is directed by Peter Berg written by Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan and starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman.
The plot: LA’s local super-hero John Hancock (Will Smith) is really unpopular. Homeless and drunkard, he still helps people and saves them when they are in need, but the way he does it causes a lot of damage – and multiple lawsuits against him. He’s mean and nasty and does more damage then good. Another result of his mishaps is the name he hears more often then his own – asshole. But when he saves a PR consultant (Jason Bateman – the adoptive father in Juno) who is determined to change the world, his own image is transformed, and he finds our truth about his existence and his purpose.
The good: Will Smith plays a very likable superhero despite his character flaws – addiction to alcohol, sloppy outfits and poor communication skills. Even though he helps people, he is very angry at them. Why? You’ll have to see the movie. Smith makes Hancock a rather subtle person, filled with inner-conflict and self-doubt. Very nicely shot. CGI’s were produced cheaply and quickly, but they fit within the movies framework. Mostly good humor throughout the movie. Some drama too. Entertaining. Nice twist in the middle of the movie involving Charlize Theron’s character.
The bad: predictable, with many of the elements of a super-hero movie missing. Typically we have a regular guy who obtains super-hero skills or properties through some sort of transformation or industrial accident, or inherits them by birth. In this case we are just introduced to a guy who was a super-hero to begin with. Then we’d be entertained with several acts of heroics where the hero meets a special vulnerable human he can relate to – a girl, a baby, a… PR consultant. Their relationship builds until they become attached in some way that inevitably makes the super-hero vulnerable, which always leads to a [ultimate] battle with a super-villain trying to exploit that vulnerability to bring the super-hero down. In this case the emphasis was on Will Smith being just a goof. There’s nothing “super” about the villains and their presence in the movie is just episodic. Charlize Theron was not very impressive. Her long penetrative [and repetitive] looks at Hancock were quite annoying. He best roles were dramatic ones: think of The Monster or The Devil’s Advocate. Her action movies…suck. Hard to buy any part of Hancock’s life story in the past. Also hard to believe that he hates being a superhero mostly because the society does not deserve him – I guess we are too stupid to appreciate him.
The summary: flawed but entertaining action flick starring Will Smith, with lot of physical and verbal humor. The dramatic element is virtually non-existent though. A lot of stuff is being smashed. Liked it, but ready to move on to next movie. Not worth waiting for DVD.
The cast: John Hancock - Will Smith | Mary Embrey - Charlize Theron | Ray Embrey - Jason Bateman | Aaron Embrey - Jae Head | Red – Eddie Marsan | Man Mountain – David Mattey | Matrix - Maetrix Fitten | Mike – Thomas Lennon | Jeremy – Johnny Galecki
The credits: Director - Peter Berg (directed Friday Night Lights and The Kingdom, acted in Lions for Lambs, The Kingdom, Smoking Aces, produced Lars And A Real Girl etc) | Writers – Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan | Producers – Ian Bryce, Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, Richard Saperstein, Will Smith | Original Music – John Powell | Photography – Tobias A. Schliessler
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character name in title | Charlize Theron | Interracial Relationship | Jason Bateman | Peter Berg | prison | Super-hero | superhero | Trainwreck | Will Smith