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Hancock

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Hancock (2008) --- Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman present the anti-hero

Jul 9, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Will Smith, original concept

Cons:concept gets abandoned, "twist", unemotional Bateman

The Bottom Line: Not quite as good as I had hoped, it is still worth seeing Will Smith in a role he was born to play.


Will Smith is the king of the 4th of July film, and his newest release Hancock was no exception to that rule. The premise of the film is something we haven't seen much of in the super-hero genre, and that is a main character that has struggles with both his identity and alcoholism. It is this real problem that helps people to relate with someone of his abilities, and truthfully, puts him in the same light as many other people in society. It is also a much different look at the super-hero type, and the presentation doesn't make him look like he is that cool-guy that everyone wants to be, but rather just someone with super powers that has as many detractors as supporters. To put it mildly, Hancock has a severe public relations problem, and that is right where the film decides to take over.

Jason Bateman plays public relations expert Ray Embrey, who one day has his life saved by none other than Hancock. It is shocking to him that there is so much negativity thrown in Hancock's direction, but he thinks that he can clean up his image and make him into that super hero that everyone wants to know. It's not going to be an easy task though, because Hancock is entrenched in his ways, and though he often saves the day, he does it while damaging roads, buildings, and just about everything in his path. Ray feels that if he can change the methods that Hancock uses, that the public will do a 180 degree turn and express their need for him rather than their disdain. Bringing him into his home, and introducing him to his family, Ray tries to embrace Hancock and show him how much life could have to offer someone of his powers.

There really isn't a lot to the plot of this story, other than an original kind of hero that has his own way of "saving the day." Will Smith is really good as Hancock, and he really steps into the role wonderfully. It is also exciting to see Smith in a part like this, because it seems almost like he was born to play Hancock. He brings his normal flavor to the role, and there were parts of the film that really worked only because of his type of humor. Jason Bateman is pretty good as his PR guy, but there were several times where I felt like the scene called for an emotional response that Bateman simply wasn’t giving. His character towards the end of the film really frustrated me, and because the camera was focused on him a lot in the final sequences that took something away from it as well. In the role of his wife, Charlize Theron is decent, but she too doesn't have too much to work with.

I really, really, really wanted to leave Hancock with a stellar opinion of the film, and I thought that this could be one of Will Smith's best roles. I must admit however, that there were many things about the film that didn't work for me. Sure there was some neat action, and a character that was fun and interesting, but the movie had too many dull moments, and one particular "twist" left me unsatisfied. A lot of viewers have made a big deal about the "twist" of Hancock, but I saw it coming about 10 minutes into the film, and was very disappointed when it was actually revealed. I felt like I was robbed of a real development in the story, and that the movie moved from an original concept to a watered down version of every other super hero film. Will Smith is as good as always in this part, and I really loved the character, but there were a lot of flaws in Hancock. I end up recommending it only to watch Smith have some 4th of July film, and that you shouldn't plan to leave with anything other than a popcorn-film that is fun to watch.










Recommend this product? Yes


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