Hancock (2008)

Action, Fantasy
Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head
A hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image.
Though it begins with promise, Hancock suffers from a flimsy narrative and poor execution.
  • Columbia Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Jul 2008 Released:
  • 25 Nov 2008 DVD Release:
  • $227.9M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Not your typical "superhero" movie, but still good7/10
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.
Classic case of great idea, mediocre execution. Strong performances are marred by weak CGI and a lack of a central villain.6/10
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 guess some people just can't take a switch in tone.8/10
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.
Not bad!8/10
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 ride.

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.
About a superhuman who is just very human8/10
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.