Hancock – Great Idea, Wasted Film – A Movie Review
BOTTOM LINE: Will Smith does his best to elevate this film beyond its extremely mediocre script and direction but unfortunately he is only able to do so much, leaving us with a D-grade, un-dynamic superhero film that could have had the potential to deliver so much more than it does.
THE GOOD: We’ve been inundated with superhero flicks in the past decade, and it won’t be long before every single comic book ever written is transformed in to a movie because some producer will think they can make five bucks out of it (and they probably will). Along comes “Hancock”, a film that takes a different slant on this genre by making the hero character a complete jerk. He’s careless, inconsiderate, rude and obnoxious. In a great opening scene, Hancock stops a bunch of bad guys in a chase sequence that ends with Hancock depositing their car on a pointy tower, while causing nine million dollars worth of damage. In the end, the police don’t want his help because he causes more problems than he solves. These characteristics work in the film’s favour, and as played so charismatically by Will Smith, creates the potential for a number of very comedic scenes involving Hancock’s interactions with people. Will Smith has come a long way since being the Fresh Prince, and the surprising thing that I’ve found in his recent movies is that he seems to have improved his presence within a film dramatically. I was never a fan, but with films like I Am Legend and Hancock, he’s single-handedly able to hold your attention and make his character very watchable. Hancock is bad, but he’s good bad and you enjoy watching it.
THE BAD: It’s not all good for this movie, which on the surface, has so many good things going for it. There’s a different take on the superhero genre, there’s an anti-hero character, there’s the potential for sarcastic and witty comedy. So where does it go wrong? Aside from Will Smith’s great presence, this film doesn’t deliver on any of its potential. It’s short, skimming over any development of story or character, relying solely on Smith’s star power to drive the film. Smith has some great one-liners, but they’re few and far between. The script is a mess, leaving a story that doesn’t really go anywhere and doesn’t give you much access in to the character or the scenario at all. Jason Bateman is unfortunately very naive and silly in his role, and this detracts from Smith’s presence. Charlize Theron fares better but the direction her character takes, although good if it had been done properly, is a convoluted mess and the filmmakers spend more time explaining the elaborate backstory between her character and Hancock to the point that there’s no room to even get Hancock fighting the villains which are almost an afterthought in the story. When Theron’s character is revealed to be just like Hancock, the film degenerates in to an embarrassing mess of bad CGI and clunky dialogue. In the end you’re wondering what is this film about? Is there any journey at all? There is a journey but it’s badly executed. A lot of these criticisms you could find in many movies, but I think the sad thing for me is that I saw the potential for a great, funny, sarcastic superhero movie and unfortunately all I got was a completely wasted great idea turned in to an extremely mediocre movie.
For the original review, follow this link: http://www.allaboutmovies.net/filmreviewhancock.htm
Todd Murphy is a staff reviewer at the film/DVD review web site, http://www.allaboutmovies.net – for all the latest reviews on the newest releases.