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Hancock (2008)
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Review Date: November 20, 2008
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan
Producers: Michael Mann, Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter
Actors:
Will Smith as Hancock
Charlize Theron as Mary
Jason Bateman as Ray
Plot:
A drunk, uncouth superhero living in Los Angeles is great at saving people’s lives, but not-so-great about giving a shit about anything else. The man likes to drink, sleep and then fly around and save people every now and again. That is until he saves the life of a PR man who wants to help him create a better image for himself. The next thing you know, the superhero checks himself into jail, and the PR man’s wife…stares at the superhero a lot. Is there something else going on? Maybe, but even then…it turns out that it’s not so interesting. --Insert cock joke here--
Critique:
What an odd movie! I think it’s been years since I’ve seen a film marketed so much in one way, only to watch the movie and have it turn out to be a very different product, in the end. The HANCOCK that was sold to us in posters, trailers, clips and shit, was the character of Hancock whom we meet during this film’s first half hour or so. He’s drunk, he’s surly, he’s an asshole and yes…he’s a superhero! Fun premise, right? I thought so. Unfortunately for us, the film slowly starts to introduce a deeper sense of itself at that point, with the character played by Charlize Theron (looking hot, but also not looking quite like herself) throwing odd glances the way of our man Hancock, and director Peter Berg attempting to get as close to someone’s face with the camera, without actually penetrating their skin (i.e. way too many close-ups, dude). By the one hour mark, the film is a completely different movie, a major plot twist is thrown into the mix and the next thing you know, the humor and drunkenness from its first act have disappeared in lieu of some weird showdown featuring Hancock as an “actual superhero” in X-Men jammies.

Theron’s character gains a greater role in the third act as well, although none of it is particularly interesting, since we barely know her by that point, and would rather see Hancock “doing his thang”. I think this film could have worked if they had played the “humor card” all the way through, or heck, give me a dramatic Hancock from minute one, but to mix it up like this, it generally takes a deft hand behind the camera, and Berg just doesn’t pass muster here (although the screenwriters also have to take some of the blame, of course). By the end of the picture, there are darkened skies, gun shots and serious injuries, and boom… you’re in a “serious movie” all of a sudden. What happened to the “fun” Hancock from the film’s first half hour or the sarcastic dude from the trailers? I guess the studio figured that with Will Smith at the helm, it would sell out either way, so they decided to stick with this jumbled concoction of a superhero movie. That said, I can’t say that this is a completely bad movie because I did quite enjoy Smith’s character of Hancock, especially when he would just grab something/someone matter of factly and toss them through a fuckin’ wall or into outer space. But other than him, the always humorous Jason Bateman and some decent special effects clicked, although not much about the story really engaged or kept my interest otherwise…especially when things got downright kooky during its final half hour.

And who creates a superhero movie and doesn’t come up with a friggin’ bad guy!?!? I mean, c’mon!! That’s like “Superhero Writing School 101”, folks. All we get here is some no-name bank-robber who turns up at the end of the film in a ridiculous circumstance. Sigh. I’m disappointed to be writing this mediocre review because I really thought they had something unique with this premise, but it just goes to show that a good premise alone does not a good movie make. There needs to be an even better follow-up to that premise and of course, an effective execution. HANCOCK only gets halfway there, hence half the points from me.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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8:28AM on 01/19/2011

Late to party

Just watched for the first time. Enjoyed Will Smith as messed up man with super powers. In the end the story seemed too forced. Bad guys were not developed, and just thrown into final act. Plot centers around angry loner turning into hero was interesting, but not normal superhero movie.
Just watched for the first time. Enjoyed Will Smith as messed up man with super powers. In the end the story seemed too forced. Bad guys were not developed, and just thrown into final act. Plot centers around angry loner turning into hero was interesting, but not normal superhero movie.
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1:48PM on 12/02/2008
I don't very often disagree with JoBLo's reviews but this one I do in a major way.

I found that the true appeal and heart of this film, lies in it's dramatic mood change at the half way marker. You're watching this funny (in a take itself seriously kind of way) movie that all of a sudden developes amnesia and forgets it was a comedy half way through. Therefore giving you a second half thats very dramatic, action packed and still very fun.

Like mentioned early, I feel the tone change of
I don't very often disagree with JoBLo's reviews but this one I do in a major way.

I found that the true appeal and heart of this film, lies in it's dramatic mood change at the half way marker. You're watching this funny (in a take itself seriously kind of way) movie that all of a sudden developes amnesia and forgets it was a comedy half way through. Therefore giving you a second half thats very dramatic, action packed and still very fun.

Like mentioned early, I feel the tone change of this film is the selling point.

Very good.
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4:42PM on 11/20/2008
The problem with the movie is that it's so desperate to set itself up as a bankable trilogy that it never bothers to create a first film that would make an audience come back for seconds and thirds.

Same thing happened with 'The Golden Compass'.
The problem with the movie is that it's so desperate to set itself up as a bankable trilogy that it never bothers to create a first film that would make an audience come back for seconds and thirds.

Same thing happened with 'The Golden Compass'.
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3:47PM on 11/20/2008
The most fun I had at the movies this past summer, throughly enjoyed it.
The most fun I had at the movies this past summer, throughly enjoyed it.
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1:48PM on 11/20/2008
I liked this picture a little bit more than you did. But I totally understand where you are coming from. To me it felt like two movies in one, which I didnt totally care for. Will Smith's performance carried it for me most of the way.
I liked this picture a little bit more than you did. But I totally understand where you are coming from. To me it felt like two movies in one, which I didnt totally care for. Will Smith's performance carried it for me most of the way.
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1:20PM on 11/20/2008

No thanks...

I like Will Smith, and he's good for the most part here, but he's let down by a truly half-assed story. Nothing really flows, those terrible close-ups that over-emphasize that Charlize knows Smith, the action, the tone... it's so empty. The worst is that it doesn't respect its own rules... or maybe its those costumes... Either way, I hated this movie.
I like Will Smith, and he's good for the most part here, but he's let down by a truly half-assed story. Nothing really flows, those terrible close-ups that over-emphasize that Charlize knows Smith, the action, the tone... it's so empty. The worst is that it doesn't respect its own rules... or maybe its those costumes... Either way, I hated this movie.
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12:52PM on 11/20/2008

I loved the film and have no problem with it not having a "big bad". This was more of an introduction to the character and explaining who he was, let the sequel have the big showdown with a master villian.

Also to me it didn't seem so jarring with the change of pace....Over all I really liked Hancock.

I loved the film and have no problem with it not having a "big bad". This was more of an introduction to the character and explaining who he was, let the sequel have the big showdown with a master villian.

Also to me it didn't seem so jarring with the change of pace....Over all I really liked Hancock.
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12:29PM on 11/20/2008
So mediocre. I don't care to ever watch it again. I agree with almost everything said above.
So mediocre. I don't care to ever watch it again. I agree with almost everything said above.
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12:25PM on 11/20/2008

awesome

im one of the people who loved hancock it had everything,a good cast,cool special effects,funny scenes,and it was entertaining non stop.
im one of the people who loved hancock it had everything,a good cast,cool special effects,funny scenes,and it was entertaining non stop.
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7:47AM on 11/20/2008
After seeing the theatrical trailer for this movie, I didn't really want to see it as much as most summer movies. I didn't want to see Will Smith acting like an a-hole is his movies. I don't think anyone does but I saw this film anyway. And you know what? This has got to be one of the biggest surprises this summer! I loved it! Hancock is a movie where it answers the question, "What happens if a superhero just doesn't care?" And it does it great! Will Smith plays well as the misunderstood
After seeing the theatrical trailer for this movie, I didn't really want to see it as much as most summer movies. I didn't want to see Will Smith acting like an a-hole is his movies. I don't think anyone does but I saw this film anyway. And you know what? This has got to be one of the biggest surprises this summer! I loved it! Hancock is a movie where it answers the question, "What happens if a superhero just doesn't care?" And it does it great! Will Smith plays well as the misunderstood superhero. He does a great job. Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron are good supporting roles. What I didn't like about the film is that it was marketed in a wrong way. What you see in the trailers for this film is basically the first thirty minutes of the entire movie. It's marketed as a superhero comedy. Well, the jokes are funny but there are also dramatic scenes in here. It adds a surprising sense of sweetness in the film.

Unlike other superhero movies, "Hancock" isn't based on a comic book so no one really has an idea of what's going to happen in this film and that's what makes the movie so great! Finally, a superhero movie that isn't predictable (in most cases). The film does a great job giving us the information that we would need to know, although it doesn't answer all the questions we want to know, like how Hancock obtained his powers and so on and so forth. The movie also has some surprising twists and turns to keep audiences interested. When you think this is going to happen, a twist comes to keep you off guard which makes the film quite refreshing and original than most superhero movies. The action scenes are good, although maybe not as big and great as you expect it to be.

And I must say, John Powell does an EXCELLENT job with the score for the film. I also think this is one of Peter Berg's better films. Now don't go expecting what the TV spots and trailers show you. The film is quite sweet and has a good moral message in the end and doesn't really have as many jokes as you would expect. Will Smith does a great job playing the character and the film is quite fresh and original. Like I said, this has got to be the biggest surprise of this summer so far! And yes, this movie is quite entertaining! Go see it!
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