Review: Hancock

Fourth of July guarantees three things: fireworks, BBQs and a Will Smith summer blockbuster. Smith is the bankable star you can count on to carry any film starting with the Fourth of July weekend, and his charisma and charm oozes on screen. Hancock is the latest in his string of films that portrays him as a superhero (one of a kind) and how he deals with that adversity. Overall, the film has a lot of really good ideas that are kind of muddied by an extremely fast pace that glosses over some things while not paying enough attention to others. I went into Hancock not really knowing what to expect. I mean, this is one of those movies that everyone is clamoring for Hollywood studios to make in that it is an original property, not based on anything or adapted from another story. That being said, watching a movie like Hancock unfold makes you realize why Hollywood tends to not take risks with original movies like this. The story revolves around John Hancock, a destitute superhero who spends most of his days passed out on a park bench. When there are crime issues, he flies to the scene, but in his attempt to help he ends up causing more damage than had he let the criminals continue their rampage. Smith plays an admirable Hancock, and you are convinced that he's lonely. Cue Jason Bateman, who plays his newly minted PR agent determined to clean up Hancock's image while at the same time making a name for himself to change the world. The movie plays out like so: Hancock is an asshole, Hancock realizes he's an asshole, Hancock goes to jail, Hancock saves the day, Hancock realizes his life's been a lie, Hancock almost relapses, Hancock saves the day. All in all, your traditional superhero story. Hancock is all about a superhero coming to terms with his place in society. Its the same story we've seen countless times before, however we've never quite seen it like this. But its not really an origin story, as very little is explained about where his powers come from (we're kind of told but not really). And the film has a twist which I won't ruin, but I'll simply say that its pretty obvious from the start what it is, and it seems to have been put in the movie for the sake of closing out the story (and it'll probably leak out over the next few weeks). The twist is pretty representative of the main problem with the film as a whole in that the story doesn't quite seem coherent, and it seems like it was really a stream of thought type of thing. I tried to like the movie, and I thought it was decent. It wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be, as it started out funny, then got serious, then got serious with a touch of funny. It kind of suffers from what the movie itself it trying to tell the story of: changing the perception of something through good actions and PR. For a Will Smith summer blockbuster, Hancock was somewhat lacking in the marketing department (I really didn't see much about it other than the trailers), and because the story is kind of all over the map the perception of it likely won't be stellar. In the end, you're not quite better off spending two hours passed out on a park bench, but you would be better off in waiting for the movie to hit DVD if you really want to watch it. Overall rating: 60 out of 100