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Will Smith. That's all you've got to say, and you're guaranteed a big
opening at the box office. Well, from the looks of it, Smith also
guarantees you at least a mildly entertaining film, which is what we
get in his latest movie, Hancock. In the hands of any other leading
star, Hancock would probably end up being a below average film. It's
Smith's charisma, charm, and unwavering likability that ultimately save
the film. He can make you laugh, cheer, cry, and even root for his
character (who is a total ass, as he is reminded a number of times
throughout the movie) no matter what kind of shenanigans he may cause.
Hancock is not the generic superhero film and is probably one of the more ingenious ideas to come across a producer's desk in quite some time. To me, what it seems like is that the writers of the film loved the idea, started off extremely strong, and then began to realize that how hard it is to sustain a simplistic idea over the course of a full length motion picture (and it is because of this that Hancock is relatively short). The writers' plan to solve this problem is to throw in a totally unnecessary and badly handled plot twist to keep the audience guessing. The lack of a central villain also hurts the movie a lot. The character that serves as Hancock's enemy in the finale isn't even well acted. The person is laughable.
This is an action movie, so it should come as no surprise to see well done and original action in the movie. However, I felt the effects could have used a few more weeks of polishing in the editing room. The camera is also quite crampy. I also have problems with the film's score, as it does not add an epic feeling to the film like it should have. I felt like something was missing in the climax of the film (which is not the end). The action scenes, while entertaining and original, were not long enough to engage the audience like say, The Incredible Hulk, nor were they as jaw dropping as those in Wanted.
The film's strength rides on its three stars. Action veterans Will Smith and Charlize Theron both deliver winning performances as usual, and that should come as no surprise. Smith's charisma is enough to make anyone happy, and it's so easy to see why so many people love him. Theron is always a sight to behold (except in Monster, lol), and this film is no different. I enjoyed her performance the most, especially in the second act and the beginning of the third. Jason Bateman, who seems to be the bridge connecting the performances of Smith and Theron, is great as usual, and likable, marking a change from his recent turn in "Juno". There really isn't another performance to note, and part of Hancock's weakness is that there are really only three main engaging characters. It should also be noted that the kid who played Bateman's son was absolutely adorable.
Hancock is the classic case of great idea, and mediocre execution. I can see this idea being remade years from now, and pulled off even better. It's not a fault of Peter Berg, the film's director, as the real weakness is in the screenplay, which falters after an excellent and wonderful opening act. It's not a bad film by any means, nor is it great. It's in between "okay" and "good".
I was lucky enough to go to a pre-screening of Hancock last night and I
really enjoyed it. I don't understand all of the criticism this movie
is receiving. Everyone take a second and realize this is not a Marvel
or DC comic book superhero movie. Now think about that again. It is a
different story entirely and has some very unique elements.
Hancock isn't action packed. It doesn't have a Superhero vs. Supervillan plot. I would probably describe it as a character study of the superhero. I think this movie does a better job of addressing some of the issues (and vices) a superhero probably would have if they existed today. The biggest conflict in the movie is within Will Smith's character's attitude, not necessarily good vs. evil.
I think much of the criticism I have read about is motivated by expectations that were not met, which isn't fair at all. If you watch Hancock with only the expectation of being entertained, you will leave happy. Its a good movie, don't jump on the bandwagon of not liking it just because you can. Give it a chance and take it for what it is, a July 4th action/comedy.
I've read a lot of the reviews here complaining about the film flagging
in its final act. I respectfully disagree.
Hancock is most definitely DIFFERENT in it's last half - it drops off the comedy significantly and introduces some fascinating superhero mythology that is almost like an ancient Greek myth in its context. It also introduces some pretty tense and violent moments that really made me wonder if they should be marketing it as the kid-friendly summer blockbuster that they are. However, both halves have their own merits - the first being the humour, and the second being the (almost tragic) origin mythos. I suspect if you are prepared for the switch in tone, rather than shocked when it arrives, you might enjoy Hancock as much as I did.
Lots of people, including the critics, are ragging on this film.
Seriously, what did they expect? It's a Hollywood blockbuster with Wil
Smith in. Get over it, turn your brain off, and sit back and enjoy the
For what it was, I thought it pretty good. It was entertaining, took a unique take on the superhero thing, and didn't have an overt number of huge gaping plot holes or completely blithe dialog.
If you're feeling like a Wil Smith movie, go for it. It's not as bad as they say... just don't expect any more than the typical Hollywood affair.
Hancock was a pretty interesting as well as entertaining movie. It definitely wasn't your typical superhero movie; and it wasn't originally a DC or Marvel comic. It's more about what would happen if someone with superheroes was around in modern times, and that is what makes it interesting. If there's some property damage done while catching criminals, people will be angry; if a vigilante has a bad attitude, people will be angry. I suppose Batman explores some of that not being liked by the public, as well as the bad attitude and personal trauma of the hero, but I found Hancock to be quite original in its handling of these issues. I liked the media attention and the use of sunglasses as a "mask" of sorts. I really liked how Hancock progresses as a character, and I liked the other characters as well. Usually little kids in movies annoy me, but the son of the supporting character was pretty cute and endearing. This isn't really a hero movie where there is a superhero and a super villain; I think it's more about what it means to be a human and relate to other people, to do good things and the desire to be accepted. I think the best part of Hancock is that it's about a superhuman who is just very human. It was a lot of fun.
I also was at the test screening in Peoria AZ. The film was spot on for
the first hour. Jokes were hitting left and right, Smith and Bateman
displayed good chemistry, and the special effects, though not always
finished, were eye popping nonetheless.
Without giving it away, the final half hour was flat, straying from the comical nature that had preceded it and instead tried to get philosophical and introduce a week paint'by'numbers villain. I spoke with director Peter Berg after the film and he seemed fully aware of the issues relating to the final act. Hopefully the recent "re shoot" will polish up that last act, making Hancock one of the must see blockbusters of the summer. In the form I saw it; it still has a ways to go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the movie tonight and enjoyed it a lot so here's my take:
Good special effects (even though there not all done)
Excellent hour and fifteen minutes (the movie is probably 100 minutes in length if I had to estimate the pacing in that time period was spot on)
Good combination of humor and action (I'd say more humor though say in the vein of Beverely Hills Cop, which had a good mix of humor and action) Will Smith nails the character (even if the character goes through a number of sudden changes out of nowhere)
Even though there weren't as many action sequences as expected they all were pretty memorable especially a fight between Hancock and another superhero (I won't spoil it)
A really good twist that I didn't see coming at all (when you see it you'll understand)
Cons: The villain wasn't fleshed out at all in any way (they really didn't need to have one in the first place and could have changed a few of the last scenes)
The last 25 minutes shifted more into a drama and didn't totally fit the character of Hacock of the first hour of the movie
Charleze Theron didn't have much to work on for the first forty-five minutes besides not liking Hancock
The relationship of Jason Bateman's character, Ray and his wife Mary isn't fully fleshed out and the chemistry isn't all there (towards the end Will Smith has better chemistry with her and there scenes together are juicy and easily the best parts of the last twenty five minutes)
Overall I'd give the film an 8.5/10 because it was an innovative look at a superhero other then all the Batman's and Supermen we're given a truly conflicted character who isn't fully invincible. There are many quotable scenes, funny moments, and good special effects that you haven't seen in other movies before. I expect this film to make a lot of money at the box office this summer and please many Will Smith fans along with action fans or people who are looking for a solid popcorn flick.
*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILER ***
I NEVER write on these opinion boards but I might start with this one. I felt as though I needed to stick up for the movie after reading all the horrible reviews. I went to see it on the 4th, mainly because the trailers looked entertaining and because I enjoy Will Smith. This movie is not at all what I expected. There is a surprising turn of events that I did not see coming. Will Smith, in his usual style, is quick, funny, witty, and charming and I thought the timing between he and Jason Bateman was perfect. If you are expecting to see a movie along the lines of Hulk, Iron Man, Batman, etc, don't go because you won't enjoy it. If you are going because you like the cast and are ready to be entertained for 1 hour and 20 minutes out of your life, then it is definitely worth the price of admission.
The latest Will Smith effort is much different from the average big budget flashy superhero movies that have dominated the box office the last few years. Don't go to Hancock thinking you are seeing another Superman, Fantastic 4, Ironman or Hulk. The superhero angle is treated much differently here. I think part of the perception problem with this film is from the silly trailers we have seen for the last 6 months. Those trailers represent a small part a movie that is so much more to than a drunken superhero throwing a whale at a boat, swearing at a kid or wrecking the city. Sure, there are laughs in this movie, but it's Will Smith! He's FUNNY! Go see Hancock because it's DIFFERENT from the mega-budget movies that come straight from the comic book pages complete with a witty Stan Lee cameo. Don't get me wrong, I loved Ironman and The Hulk. But Hancock is not a movie that will have comic book geeks arguing on message boards about how the movie left so much out and the character was nothing like the comic. It is a film with a story that happens to be about a guy with super powers. Besides, it's got Will Smith and Charlize Theron in it! How can you go wrong?
I caught a preview showing of Hancock tonight. I enjoyed it for what it was which is a fun, mostly fast-paced popcorn flick. The writers of the film also tossed in a nice plot twist that I didn't see coming but it turned out to work just fine. This isn't Shakespeare so I don't demand a lot of deep thought just some escapist fun. Will Smith does an excellent job of playing the disinterested superhero with an existential crisis. It was good to see Jason Bateman again but a bummer as well seeing how he has aged. This means I am not so young myself anymore. Jae Head didn't overact nor did the script writers push the "cute" button to the point of being saccharine. It will be interesting to see how this movie performs to see if Smith wants to do a sequel. So I am more than happy to recommend Hancock to fans of the "Summer Blockbuster" and those who enjoy Will Smith.
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