Movie Review: Hancockon July 5, 2008 at 09:25
Year Released: 2008
Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Production Company: Sony Pictures
Something must have happened during production on Hancock. I’m talking about the great first act, the build up of the character, the Superman complex: a God trapped in a man’s body, the initial hurdle Hancock had to overcome and the title character’s progression into becoming the God everyone needs, rather than everyone hates. It was artfully handled, I felt for Will Smith. His portrayal of a Superhuman trapped in the everyman’s world of L.A., a crime infested city where each time he helps, and he’s causing more property damage while trying to stop the bad guys. He’s an alcoholic, but we still like him. He’s easily hateable, but there’s the one guy that truly believes in him, and gets him to reform (Jason Bateman). Instead of being grateful, the city is more satisfied pointing out his drinking habits and the whole ‘flying-while-drunk’ problem. So, to reform, his newly self-appointed P.R agent Ray (Bateman) makes it his mission to create a friendlier, family centric, professional Hancock. On good faith, he asks Hancock to do some time in a federal prison; reluctantly he complies – until the mayor needs his help in a downtown bank robbery/ hostage situation.
|“Didn’t y’all like ALI?”|
Okay, so at this point I’m not giving away too much, but he saves the hostages, puts the bad guys in jail and treats the people he’s saving with much more dignity and respect. He even asks a lady cop if it’s “Okay to have physical contact with her”. Seriously. So, at this point, you’d think the movie goes into a nice blue sky where Hancock flies away and we’re all happy that he’s become a round character and overcome his demons.
Instead, we’re treated with what seems like a half finished storyline involving Charlize Theron being his super-being wife. The twist here is that they can’t be in too close contact otherwise they start to lose their powers. Cue in some weird tornado’s in downtown L.A. when the two fight each other, and the fact that even though the movie sets the ground rules that: the closer they are, the weaker they get, the movie does a great job of not following this formula.
|“I sooooo need to piss.”|
For instance: During the fight between Hancock and Theron, she at one point throws a dump truck directly on Hancock. He’s able to get back up, no problem. Later on, in a hospital part, he’s getting the snot beat out of him by a couple of thugs: and for some reason Theron feels Hancock’s pain(?). To say the least, the inconsistencies of powers, the magical additional events that happen when the couple is together, and the lack of support of story adds up to a dismal second act, and a confusing third act. The only saving grace for me was seeing Charlize Theron alongside Jason Bateman again: I was hoping for some reference to ‘Arrested Development’, sadly, I was disappointed.
So we have a movie with an A-list star, major blockbuster bucks and a great marketing campaign. The videos were viral, and the public was pumped to see this as it’s been in development hell for at least 5 years. And for a movie in development that long, it sure felt rushed. The mythos isn’t properly explained, the Wolverine-esque amnesia back story that’s conveniently never revealed by Theron is never flushed out. The additional element such as the heat given off from Hancock and Theron together isn’t explained, and neither is the fact of how they were made or what the exact origins are. I’m sure the movie was written this way to get the public salivating for more, but the way the subject is handled is clumsy and we’re more annoyed than curious.
That being said, if were to grade Hancock on the first 40 minutes, it would stand alone as a pretty good movie. Taken with all the parts, it’s much more baffling, rushed and incomplete.
5.0 out of 10.