Hancock (2008) Review
Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Directed by: Peter Berg
Screenplay written by: Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan
Tagline: There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there's...
"Do I look like I care what people think?" Clearly, nobody involved in the making of this fiasco did as well
In A Nutshell
John Hancock (Will Smith) is an unhappy and reluctant superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public until he crosses paths with a PR Guy (Jason Bateman's character) and they start trying to change him.
The movie had an interesting premise and Will Smith plays the drunken version of Hancock far more convincingly than the sober side. If the film had stuck to "what if a city had a superhero who wasn't really suited to the role" idea then it might have played out much better and been a more enjoyable film since after he's changed to be more decent, it gets touchy and warm.
Thankfully, the music and special effects pull through basically unscathed (although a few of the flying scenes looked terribly fake).
Fat & Gristle
Berg's direction is gritty, with the occasional frantic zoom, sharp fast pan and steady-cam sequences. His direction does not really complement the film
The movie is OK until Charlize Theron is revealed as another superhero and then it well & truly jumps the shark, with an awful CGI fight across the city & pointless storms that are never explained.
There wasn't a bad or powerful enough villain to put against him so they fabricated the pointless romance to make him vulnerable. The entirety of the movie's second-half plot no longer deals with any typical "good guy vs bad guy" or "hero must overcome" archetype.
The story basically consisted of "wait, they're destined to be together", then "wait, they can't be together or they both become mortal and die", then "wait, they were built together by nameless-god", then "wait, they weren't meant to be together", then "wait, they're bound by fate to always be together" and so on and so on until you really don't care anymore.
The film veers off into a completely different direction in the third act that nearly completely defeats the purpose of the previous two as it attempts to explain the mythology behind the character, but fails because of how convoluted and useless it sounds. Even worse is the dramatic tone change from action romp to hardcore drama that is handled even less well.
Bateman basically becomes non-existant in the last third of the movie as he's pushed to the background in favor of Charlize Theron's character, which makes you hate her even more as you loathe every moment she spends talking, eating, moving or just breathing. Not that Jason Bateman was doing a great job or anything, but c'mon it's freakin' Jason Bateman!
The movie was ok until the entire second half where it had a nonsensical mess of a plot-hole and a complete lack of actual plot to drive the story. Best avoided as it adds nothing to the superhero film genre, in fact it actually detracts from it.
At heart, Hancock was a good idea for a new superhero movie, but it did not turn out to be one in the end with Bad writing and sloppy direction that took away from any great ideas that could have been infused into the script, and also, it appeared that nobody seemed to care.
I'd go **.
Things I Learned
- A flying homeless bum CAN save the world.
- You may not remember the whale, but Greenpeace does.
- You will still survive even if your head is shoved up someone esle's butt.
- Some prisoners are so dumb they will challenge superhuman beings to a fight.
- Some prisoners are so dumb they will challenge superhuman beings to a fight twice.
- Superheroes do not breathe like normal people - they can survive a trip to the moon.
- Black superheroes are super basketball players.
- White superheroes are stronger than black superheroes.
- Little kids who challenge superheroes get punished by being thrown into space then back.
- You can get away with all those lawsuits as a superhero if you really want to.
- Slowing a kid's fall from terminal velocity to zero inside of a foot just makes the kid cry.
- Never fly when you are drunk.
- Don't leave your wife alone with a superhero.
- A superhero can be poor and homeless.
- When a superhero comes to your house, serve him meatballs and alcohol.
- It's ok to sleep with your sister as long as you are both 3000 years old.
- Women get hotter looking when they use their super powers.
- You'll get applause in group if you say, "My name is Hancock and I drink and stuff."
- You will join a suicide pact of revenge with two total strangers if an immortal super being anally molested you.
- It doesn't matter that you are not aware a super hero is mortal when he is near his muse, you will have your revenge with a single shotgun.
- Escaping prison is VERY easy when you have only one hand and the benefit of having your prison escape happening offscreen, told only by a fake TV news spot exposition.
- It's okay to make a move on your PR's wife, cause it might turn out you've been married to her for the last 3000 years.
- Don't wear sunglasses while you are flying.
- Never insult a superhero. He'll put your car on top of a pointy roof.