Monday, January 19, 2009
The Top Ten Things I Learned from Hancock
Hancock was 2008's official Will Smith Summer Event movie,and I am glad that I waited for the DVD release to check this film out. Don't get me wrong,it was entertaining at times but not as thrilling as I hoped it would be.
Smith is John Hancock,a surly superhero who fights crime about as gracefully as a bull in a china shop and is usually drunk as a skunk when doing so. His bad attitude and path of destruction left behind his heroic efforts have the folks of L.A. more than willing to run him out of town and sue him for damages.
Hancock does have someone who believes in him,Ray Embrey(Jason Bateman),a grateful PR man who wants to repay the hard to like hero for saving his life by creating a campaign to make over Hancock's public image.
Since Hancock is a pretty lonely guy,he's willing to go along with Ray's plan. Some of Ray's ideas, such as volunteering to do jail time,seem to pay off and bring about a slew of much needed changes in both Hancock the man and Hancock the hero.
Hancock's main dilemma is that he has no memory of his past or knowledge about the source of his powers. He woke up in an emergency room of a Miami hospital eighty years ago,having miraculously recovered from a head injury and only two movie theater tickets in his pocket. Turns out that the answers he's been seeking may be more accessible than he knows and that Ray's wife Mary(Charlize Thereon)is not all that she appears to be.
It's a good premise and most of the early parts of the story play out rather well,especially with the dark humor riffs and the chemistry between Smith and Bateman. However,as the story goes on, a lot of character development moments are overridden with massive displays of f/x that don't enhance the plot or make any real sense.
Many of the revelations given are not fully explained or thought out,which makes the major climax of the film fall flat. Also,there's no truly threatening villain for Hancock to face off on. Part of the reason for that may be that in the beginning,he's his own worst enemy(which is cool)but as he starts to redeem himself,a formidable opponent would've set that arc off nicely.
Hancock is not based on a comic book or any other source material,which may account for the third and final act of the film to nose dive like it does. The movie did do decently at the box office,so I wouldn't be surprised if a sequel was in the works. If that happens,I hope the next set of screenwriters do some serious graphic novel/comic book reading to get the jist of a superhero story right this time.
To sum up,here are the top ten lessons that Hancock can teach you about superhero life:
10) Drinking and crime fighting do not mix:
9) Thursday night is alright for spaghetti madness.
8) It might be helpful for a superhero to accept some constructive criticism once in awhile from the public at large:
7) Making love to a super powered man requires more than the usual safe sex precautions.
6) Being immortal is one of those little things you really should mention on a first date.
5) If a recent acquaintance is unwilling to own up to her more than human status,you might have to throw everything but the kitchen sink at her to get a confession:
4) Super hero stories work better when you have a more thought out villain put in the mix.
3) Man can not live on Jiffy Pop alone.
2) Use of a new complimentary catchphrase should be done sparingly:
1) If a bad tempered superhero dares you to call him a rude name just one more time,don't call him on his bluff:
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