Saturday, July 12, 2008


Hey folks,

So I decided to bite the bullet and check out the new Will Smith money making superhero summer flick, Hancock. Now I know many critics haven't really dug the film and there has been mixed feelings with most audiences who saw the film. Honestly, I can see why people haven't been to thrilled with the film. The movie is scattered all over the place and feels more like a trailer for a greater film then an actual film itself.

In Hancock, Will Smith plays a sullen and often drunk superhero who wants to help save the world but doesn't care how much damage he does in order to do it. This premise is actually a very good one in all honesty. Most the time we see superheros who are goodie goodies or all around good people. But in Hancock, we see what would happen if a Superman type superhero actually acts like a real schlub, drinks a ton and has some horrible people skills. The problem though is that after about the first 30 mins of the film, things get a little weird. The story starts jumping really fast, the characters are never really flushed out and all the scenes are like 2 mins long.

A few months ago, Hancock was tested with some live audiences and many didn't seem to like the film. Due to this, you can really tell that the executives had a major hand in reshaping the film to appease more people with a fair amount of last minute reshoots. The movie started as a light hearted comedy and went to a dramatic hero film really fast. The general story went to shambles really fast and it seemed like not a lot was really flushed out. Everything felt a bit forced and that these executives thought audiences would like something that even a 2 year old could understand. Even the general tone of the film goes from a bit comedic and lighthearted to a more dramatic, nearly emo type film that just never went anywhere.

Acting wise, Smith is decent at best. He has very little lines, not much of a personality and they never really flush Hancock out to much. They give him a small back story and we only get to see him fight crime a little bit. This is one of the few Will Smith movies where he actually doesn't have a lot of lines and doesn't really act. I usually like Will Smith and think he is a great actor, but all his acting in here just seemed forced and underdone.

Along with Smith we have Jason Bateman who plays a marketing guy who wants to change the way people look at Hancock and make him more of a hero. We also have Charlize Theron who plays Bateman's wife in the film. Both do the best they can with the material they are given, but the material is just really lacking. Bateman has the most lines in the film and is the heart here really. He pretty much plays the normal goofy guy who is more or less the comic relief of the film and is what makes Hancock act more like a hero then a ass. But even with that, you feel like Bateman could of done a lot more with the character if given the chance.

There is also Charlize Theron of course who was just a little too one dimensional most of the film. Once again, she doesn't really show any acting chops till the end of the film and even then it seems a little half hearted. She plays a major part in the film at the end and is part of the twist in the film as well. Much like Bateman and Smith, I think Theron is a great actress, but just wasn't given anything to work with in Hancock.

I really think Hancock could of been a great film. There were a lot of great ideas and concepts in the movie including Hancock's true identity and the big twist at the end , but none of them really panned out or came to fruition in a good way. Everything ended up just being forced and you can almost tell that that the actors stopped caring half way through the film. Even the big super villain of the film wasn't really a villain and more of a joke of a bad guy. There were some good moments here and there and the first half 30 mins of the film were actually really good and had some cool action to boot. To bad it just goes from hitting the pavement running to turning into a old man with a walker half way through.

I had some high hopes for Hancock and maybe they can redeem themselves with a sequel, but I don't really have high hopes there either. Overall I give Hancock a 5/10. This is really a rental film I would say. Its worth checking out when it comes out on DVD, don't get me wrong, but there are far better movies in theaters right now to check out. Forget kryptonite, tt really seems that a superhero's true weakness is movie execs gone amok.

-P. Knight

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