“Hancock” Appreciated A-Hole

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama and Romance
Release Date: July 2nd, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and language.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing

Director: Peter Berg

JJ Rating:

Hancock (Will Smith) is unlike any other superhero in that he does as he wishes and drinks what he wants and when he wants. If he is up to it he’ll save people, but if he’s not up to it he won’t bother. That is until he has a run in with a train and Ray (Jason Bateman) and then his entire world becomes more twisted and revealing. Hancock.

I would like to state that they did a fantastic job on the trailer. Normally trailers tend to rape the film and when I see it I start placing everything together and figuring out what was going on. Not with Hancock. This film was not all in the trailer and that made for a far better movie, in my great and awesome opinion. Not that I didn’t figure out certain things.

Every hero has a symbol. Superman has the S, Batman has the bat, X-Men the X, Spider-man the spider, Fantastic Four the four, and the Incredibles’ I. Hancock has his own symbol and this symbol is riddle throughout the film and that is the eagle. It’s on his beanie, the bench he sleeps on at the beginning and there are several other places it shows up. That is one of the cool subtle things about this movie.

Peter Berg directs. This is coming after one of my favorites Lars and the Real Girl. I don’t’ really bother mentioning the director unless I like them and to like one would mean they have to have some sort of impact. I think Berg does a decent job in directing that he tends to add something to a film. I think he has a knack for emotion and heart. Because in his previous films there is heart and emotion and it creeps up on you without out right slapping you in the face. It doesn’t seem to be there in the trailers or a the beginning of his films, but by the time the end credits come long you realize you felt something inside that you didn’t think you would. Or at least that’s how his films affect me. Ha.

Acting wise I was pleased. I think that Will Smith is very good with the anti-hero hero. Those facial expressions and the aura of not putting up with jack. He has power in his demeanor. Jason Bateman is becoming one of those rebound actors that is going to make it stick and what a great job he’s doing so far with that. He is like that home feel people have when they sit on a well worn couch. That couch hugs you and brings you comfort. A feeling that doesn’t exist on a brand new couch. That’s what he offers. He has the comfort feel to him that makes him a cushion to have in any film. Charlize Theron has not been seen since Aeon Flux and that was 3 years ago. Of course she had a film in 2007 but it was not necessarily a big attention getter. She is pretty and a good actress. Her chemistry with Bateman and Smith was entertaining and believable. She has a subtle energy about her that makes her presence fantastic and like glue. She holds this 1/3 of this film together. Smith and Bateman have their 1/3’s held down as well. Trinity for a Summer Blockbuster. And Jae Head (played Aaron the son) was perfect for the little boy who looks up and appreciates what is unappreciated.

Storyline. There is a whole lot more to the story than what the trailers show. Now Hancock isn’t perfect and if I were to pick what made me give it a B+ instead of an A- or higher is because of the storyline. I believe that it had heart because Berg gave it his touch, but the lines were a little weak. However it was entertaining and the actors pulled it off to make it believable. There could have been a whole lot more zingers and witty comments like Iron Man had and Spiderman-man should have had more of. Not that it needs to be like them but it could have had its own wit. Hancock’s back story could have been stronger and had more of a kick of emotion than it did. The good thing was how the storyline tried to keep it real such as having news people dictate how much damage was done in one of Hancock’s ‘save the day’ moments.

The good parts of the script and storyline had to do with what Hancock did not like being called. He didn’t like being called the urban dictionary word for donkey crevasse. He would get all bent out of shape like McFly would when he was called chicken in Back to the Future. Hancock’s one on one with Mary is a great scene. The scene with Hancock eating dinner with Ray’s family is a great one. There are fantastic moments and for some reason Bateman’s lines and Will’s (for the most part) are great lines when they are going along the line of being witty. When the script had to deal with more serious matters it sort of got bogged down and fell a bit flat, but there were touching moments, especially with Aaron handing over a gift. The best thing about the storyline of Hancock is the appreciation theme. I think people take for granted what people mean in their lives and they don’t appreciate who is there, and when they are gone they realize what great things the person was responsible for. I think that theme is a great theme to take on and Hancock handles it well.

The climax of the film happens quickly and smoothly. There is lacking in reasonability with the villains towards the end. There was not a whole lot of explanation or great reasoning as to why they would go do something with weapons they knew wouldn’t harm Hancock. But the over all feel of the climax was exciting. The final end was a smooth landing with a nice touch to it. Slightly cliché, but not overly so that it was annoying. It’s like those expected clichés that work when done right, and it was done right.

The CGI work is a little fake when the camera follows Hancock in flight. When he lands that is pretty awesome because I have a sense of how it feels to be in proximity of him. When he throws people left and right, that’s pretty sweet to watch. The destruction in this film is high and adds to the total entertainment of the whole film. That and the storyline (in some parts) make this film weak but not weak enough to ruin the films over all appeal that it will surely have.

There was a cameo by a well known figure from CNN. She played herself and how she would most certainly act if there were such a thing as a superhero like Hancock. It was amusing and entertaining, though her popularity is probably really low. I’m like one of the few people I know that actually likes her.

Let me do a bit of guessing on how much money Hancock will rank in this 4th of July weekend. I think that he will get a hefty $102 million dollars. My feeling, really, spans from $85 million to $110 million; but I have my strongest feeling at $102, I guess.

Hancock is an imaginative, original story about a hero who is destine to be one but feels that no one cares for him to be more than what he is. It is a Summer Blockbuster because it is Will Smith and this is the 4th of July, and as it has so happen in previous years it’s a big weekend for him and whatever movie he’s staring in. No one should have high expectations for this film. This is not the film to have those with you when you go and see it. One should, however, have high expectations of The Dark Knight, you are allowed. Hancock is good for what it is and people who enjoy the Summer Popcorn Entertainment that isn’t bogged down with overly serious tones will enjoy this one.

I enjoyed Hancock enough to considering having it part of my growing collection of films. I could watch it again and I would find it just as entertaining as I did the first go around. Hancock should be appreciated for what it was created for, not for what it was not created for, and that is entertainment; not fastidious wannabe movie critics.


The Judge said...

For me, the most annoying part was the fact that the entire film looked like the camera was being held by my friend's 4 year old girl. ENOUGH WITH THE SHAKY CAM!!

Seriously, you aren't fooling anyone into thinking that this is some pseudo-documentary mis-en-scene. The shakiness usually attempts to imply a sense of action, or at least hurried pacing. For this, perhaps they were trying to show the wobbling stagger of a good drunken stupor. I dont know. What I do know was that after watching an entire film on a big screen, I felt nauseous more than anything else.

J_Jammer said...


I guess it was because I sat further back than normal that the shaky cam (which I did notice sometimes) didn't bother me so much.

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