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Hancock (2008)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Fantasy | 2 July 2008 (USA)
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Hancock is a superhero whose ill considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when the person he saves helps him improve his public image.

Director:

Peter Berg

Writers:

Vincent Ngo (as Vy Vincent Ngo), Vince Gilligan
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Popularity
1,854 ( 192)
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... John Hancock
Charlize Theron ... Mary
Jason Bateman ... Ray
Jae Head ... Aaron
Eddie Marsan ... Red
David Mattey ... Man Mountain
Maetrix Fitten Maetrix Fitten ... Matrix
Thomas Lennon ... Mike
Johnny Galecki ... Jeremy
Hayley Marie Norman ... Hottie
Dorothy Cecchi Dorothy Cecchi ... Woman in Dive Bar
Michelle Lemon Michelle Lemon ... Girl at Bus Bench
Akiva Goldsman ... Executive
Michael Mann ... Executive
Brad Leland ... Executive
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Storyline

The powerful superhero John Hancock has become a joke because of his alcoholism and clumsiness. He has also become the most hated man in Los Angeles. Though he has saved many lives, he also destroyed a lot of property, costing the city millions every time he goes into action. When he saves the life of PR expert Ray Embrey from an oncoming train, the executive is thankful and believes he can restore Hancock's image as a true superhero. He brings the anti-hero home for dinner and introduces him to his son Aaron, a big fan, and to his wife, Mary. But for some mysterious reason Mary doesn't want Hancock anywhere near her or her family. Written by Rob Marshall, Chicago, IL

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there's... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Vietnamese | English | Japanese

Release Date:

2 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tonight, He Comes See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,603,879, 6 July 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$227,946,274, 7 September 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$624,386,746
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second that Will Smith and Charlize Theron starred in since The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). See more »

Goofs

Hancock first appears, in a drunken stupor, on a bus bench that faces away from the street, instead of toward the street, where passengers would normally approach and board buses. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Police Officer: All units. All units. Code 3 pursuit of 2-11 white SUV heading east on Alameda service road. Suspects: three Asian males. Request back-up immediately. Be advised. Shots fired. Shots fired.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A scene after the credits start to roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended cut was released on DVD and Blu-Ray featuring several additional and modified scenes. The additional scenes include, but are not limited to: Hancock bringing a girl to his trailer to have sex, Mary Embrey driving to Hancock's trailer instead of flying there, and Hancock getting off a prison bus while chained to other prisoners whom he drags behind him. See more »

Connections

References X-Men (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Sanford and Son Theme
Written and Performed by Quincy Jones
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television Inc.
Under license from Sony Pictures Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hancock Signs Off
1 July 2008 | by moutonbear25See all my reviews

It isn't fair to write a film off in the first few minutes but you can sometimes get a pretty good sense as to what you're in store for from the way the film introduces itself. The film opens on an L.A. freeway, where four punks are being chased in their van by countless police cruisers while they fire their semi-automatic weapons into the air. Where's Spider-Man when you need him? (Right, I forgot – Spidey's a New Yorker.) Cut to a passed out bum on a park bench. Who is this man? Of course, we know it's our hero, Hancock (Will Smith), because we know a thing or two about the film before sitting down to watch it. Director, Peter Berg, takes this for granted though and it soon becomes apparent that convention and presumption will drive this unconventional tale. In HANCOCK, Berg, and Smith team up with writers, Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan, to debunk superhero iconography as well as the genre itself. The goal, and a noble and exciting one it is, is to rip the superhero out of the sky, strip him of his glory and send him hurdling toward the earth. Only Hancock is pulled down to an earth that is an awful lot more like a movie than the world I know.

It wouldn't be so terrible to set this enormous Hollywood action film in typical scenarios if Berg weren't trying so hard to give the film a decidedly un-Hollywood look. The aesthetic is often shaky and unstill, crossing back and forth between odd close-ups and frames finding their focus. Berg seems bent on giving HANCOCK a gritty, guerilla film-making tone but the erratic style is at odds with the predictability of the plot. The borrowed independent style works in its original context because independent films are, ordinarily, about something deeper. Removing the gloss from a Hollywood feature only allows the viewer to see how little there is underneath it all. In HANCOCK's case, the man beneath the lacking luster is a reluctant hero who would rather waste his days drunk in a dive than diving into the action itself to save the day. There is some loose discourse on realizing your destiny but little else. Again reluctantly, Hancock agrees to some help from a struggling public relations person (Jason Bateman) and is set on the path to making the most of his life and abilities. Hancock is such a complex character (lonely, disinterested, depressed) that it would seem ripe with possibility but this is mostly squandered in favor of half funny humour and sometimes hokey special effects that it feels at times like a over produced Nike ad.

Luckily for HANCOCK, the film is still somewhat enjoyable thanks to the strong performances of all its leads. Smith continues his streak for picking complicated characters with broad appeal and he also continues his streak of pulling them off. After a heartbreaking turn that pushed his dramatic abilities in THE PURSUIT OF Happiness and his commanding yet vulnerable turn that pushed his presence in I AM LEGEND, Smith plays a character we don't ordinarily see him as. His impossible-not-to-like face is covered in stubble and his physique is hidden by baggy, dirty clothes but his eyes are what give away his disenfranchised soul that shows his hurt for being shunned by society and disinterest in placating to that same society. Smith is joined by the modern master of comedic timing, Bateman and Charlize Theron, as Bateman's wife, who is simultaneously frightened and intimidating. This trio of talent is HANCOCK's salvation. Their grasp of their characters in unfailing and they pull the elements of the film together despite how flimsy the elements are to begin with.

HANCOCK is occasionally astounding but mostly mundane. Above all, it is a disappointment. This original premise has been sloppily slapped together and most of its potential was squandered in the process. It didn't show me that superheroes are people too. If anything, it just made me miss the real deal. If the goal was to truly bring the superhero down to earth, then there was still a long, long way to go before this guy would have touched the ground.


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