I’ve been seeing commercials for Hancock so long that I feel like it’s been out forever. Of course it only came out today and instead of waiting for the weekend to see it with my mom I decided to go solo and see it opening day. She’ll be okay.
Hancock is kind of a comic book movie. A comic book movie not based on an actual comic book. Hancock played by Will Smith is an alcoholic, antisocial, and amnesiac superhero or maybe antihero if I want to continue the alliteration. He can fly, he’s bullet proof, he’s strong, his nails are razor sharp, and he’s nigh immortal. He’s also depressed, disinterested, and lonely. Hancock tries to get beneath the skin of heroes and attempts to show the genre from another side, the personal life of a superhero. Unfortunately, what we get to see is superficial and trite. What the movie is supposed to do and what it actually does are two different things. Hancock barely grazes the surface of our downtrodden title character and when it does never gets much deeper than a mosquito bite.
The movie opens with a high speed chase taking place in L.A. while Hancock is passed out on a bench. He’s finally wakened from his drunken slumber by a kid and he flies off to play the hero. If you’ve seen any of the trailers you already know what scene I’m talking about. He flies to the freeway hindering the police while trying to stop the high speed chase/shootout. My first annoyance with this movie and first hint that this movie didn’t know if it wanted to be a kiddie movie or one for adults happened here. Hancock is flying down the freeway and through signs with “Move Bitch” by Ludacris playing in the background. What’s wrong with that? Did I mention that is was the clean/radio version of it? Why not play the album version since Hancock or other characters in the film say bitch or worse throughout? Whatever.
While even an impaired Hancock saved the day in that situation he causes nine million dollars in damages by the time he ends the chase/shootout. The people of L.A. are fed up with Hancock and have no hesitation whatsoever telling him that he sucks and calling him an asshole. One day Hancock saves Ray Embrey, a public relations executive, played by Jason Bateman from a potentially fatal mistake. Of course, Hancock causes even more damage while saving him but Ray sees something in him and decides to make Hancock his pet project. Ray invites Hancock home for dinner and begins pitching ideas on how to clean up his image and become a hero in the people’s eyes. Of course it isn’t that easy. Hancock meets Ray’s wife, Mary, and is instantly attracted to her. Mary is overly weary of Hancock and takes an immediate disliking to him.
The last half hour or so of the movie becomes pretty dark. Again not being able to decide what tone the movie wants to take. It may be too intense for young children. The reveals come out of nowhere and the back story between Hancock and Mary seems like an afterthought.
The Good: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, & Charlize Theron. I’d imagine I’d be a lot like Hancock if I had superpowers, well minus the alcoholic part. He’s not your traditional hero and I’ve always been more fascinated by people’s flaws, the things they want to hide, and with darker personalities than typical everyday “normal” people. The way Hancock reacts to certain situations and being called an asshole.
The Bad: A superhero movie without a supervillain is kind of like watching stroke porn. Where’s the pussy and what’s the point?! Technically, it is but isn’t. Cartoony violence. The script. The movie’s schizophrenic direction. Is it supposed to be a comedy, a drama, a romance, an action movie or something else? The movie doesn’t seem to know and I defy you to know any better. At just 92 minutes in length this movie had room for and probably would’ve benefited with more exposition and some of the deleted scenes.
The Miscellaneous: Ladies and ladyboys may enjoy seeing Will Smith’s ass. Hancock teetered on the fence between PG-13 and R and unfortunately as is my opinion with bisexuals it’s confusion ultimately annoyed me and turned me off. I could’ve enjoyed it as a straight PG-13 or as a true R-rated film however the final product feels like a watered down R-rated film and that some of the nuances and better stuff was left on the cutting room floor in order to get the kids in and the softer rating. It’s a shame because this movie is okay but it could’ve and should’ve been so much better. I’ve heard people referring to Big Willie as Mr. July, well, I’m not so sure he has that title on lock just yet. It’s not Wild Wild West bad (even though I liked it) but Hancock isn’t one of more even or best efforts. My letter grade for Hancock is B- (although I wouldn’t argue with anyone saying it was a C+ movie.) It really could’ve gone either way in my book depending on when you ask me about it.