Hancock

Synopsis: Academy Award nominee Will Smith (Best Actor, The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006) stars in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public.

When Hancock grudgingly agrees to an extreme makeover from idealistic publicist Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, Juno), his life and reputation rise from the ashes and all seems right again – until he meets a woman (2003 Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, Best Actress, Monster) with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past.
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Hancock 6.75

I never really wanted to watch this movie. I got this bad feeling about it when I heard that Will Smith played an alcoholic superhero. I don’t know… something about that made me feel icky and put me off – despite its success at the box office.

But, this summer, I got into superhero movie watching mode and I stumbled upon this DVD for dirt cheap at a sidewalk sale. I figured: “well, heck… now’s as good a time as any”.

I am glad that I saw it, after all. But I can’t say that I was over-enthused with the experience.

For starters, the lead character is difficult to empathize with: he’s a bit of a dick. The guy is basically irresponsible and self-centred, even though he is trying to do the right thing – and his judgement is so bad that it doesn’t help his case.

Then comes in Jason Bateman’s character, who’s an image consultant who decides to try to help our hero, Hancock, reform and gain the respect of the masses – something he’s completely clueless at, so far. In fact, his ways are only making people disrespect him at every turn.

And thus begins the rehabilitation of Hancock.

The story is more involved and complex than this, but I can’t really get into it without spoiling a few surprises along the way. So I will leave it at that for now.

But I do want to talk about the cast a little bit:

For starters, I’m surprised by the quality of roles that Bateman has been getting in recent times. I doubt he’ll ever be a star, but the guy really came out of the shadows – something I never expected. To me, Jason Bateman was a teen star that faded away, just as his sister did. So I’m kind of impressed that he’s pulled through so well of late.

Secondly, I really like Charlize Theron. I don’t know what it is (don’t say “she’s a blonde” ’cause that’s actually a deterrent with me), but I just love her in anything she does – not enough to been drawn to her films like I am with Kate Winslet or Cate Blanchet, truth be told, but Theron is always my favourite part of any of her films. I can’t explain it.

As for Will Smith… well, I’m kind of tired fo seeing a brooding Will Smith. He’s gotten so damn serious in recent years it’s kind of getting me down. Maybe the guy is trying for cred but that mode is just not the way I like him. Give me a goofy, gangly Fresh Prince anytime over buff, angsty, troubled hero Smith anyday. Sorry dude, but you’ve gotten too self-important for me.

As for the movie itself, I like the story. I like the whole concept and I love the back-story (which I can’t reveal here). But, for some reason, I felt that the film had no heart; it just didn’t make feel anything when it should have. You know it was trying super hard to have some sort of human sensibility, but it really didn’t get to me. Except for the tragic side of the back-story, which almost brought tears to my eyes – but that was quite literally a blip on the radar, mere seconds only.

So ‘Hancock’ didn’t do much for me (b-t-w, did I fail to mention how much I hate the title?). It’s pretty solid, but it didn’t rouse me out of my neutral mode, watching it from a distance you don’t want to be at when you’re supposed to be entertained. I’m sure a fair number of people liked it, based on its box office gross, but I can’t give it a whole-hearted recommendation. I’d say it’s decent, but nothing special.

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