Hancock Review – Not the Hobo Superman We Wanted” width=”560″/>
It seemed like such a good idea: Will Smith plays a wino Superman. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air playing a wino Superman in a big summer blockbuster sounded like as much fun as opening up a big box and finding that it’s full of fluffy puppies. The actual result? Like opening up that big box and finding out that all those fluffy puppies are dead.
We begin with a scene of children trying to wake Hancock (Smith) who’s passed out on a bus bench. Trouble! Some Asian gangbangers are shooting an Uzi out the window of their SUV while driving real fast on the freeway. Hancock wakes up and seems to fly to the scene of the crime via special effects that look 15 years out of date. He stops the car full of Asians, but causes lots of property damage in the process. Everyone in this movie hates Hancock because he’s a bum and not very good at being a superhero. Then he meets Ray (Jason Bateman), a PR guy who’s not very good at being a PR guy. Ray decides to become Hancock’s publicist and his wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), gives Smith strange looks.
Hancock cleans up his act, becomes a true superhero and then — wait a minute. We’re only halfway through the movie? Is this it? No… Without giving too much away, there’s a twist, and then some Anne Rice stuff about immortals, and gods and goth romance. But it all ends with Hancock painting a giant heart on the side of the moon.
acting to the special effects to the script to the camerawork, this is a shoddy production all the way. Oddly enough, it’s directed by Peter Berg
(the actor-turned-director behind the decent Friday Night Lights ) and it’s produced by Michael “ Miami Vice ” Mann, which usually would indicate quality work. But Hancock is based on a script that has a long, troubled history in Hollywood called Tonight He Comes.
The basic idea of that dark screenplay was that there’s a smooth,
ladies’ man superhero who befriends a 12-year-old boy and, well, that
title is a pun on purpose. Hancock gives the impression that Smith and the director thought they were making the dark and edgy Tonight He Comes, while the movie being advertised was Hancock,
a big fun summer blockbuster. The entire film feels like a result of
that disconnect, a major miscommunication. Scenes
feel hastily shot to plug holes, subplots vanish, characters disappear
or do nothing interesting, dialogue feels like it was written on
the fly. In all the conflict between the moviemakers and the studio,
they all seem to have forgotten about the audience.
No one was asking for a masterpiece. We all wanted a big, Will Smith
superhero movie where he flew around and did funny stuff. We wanted
Will Smith in Hobo Superman. Hollywood is a machine devoted to
turning out summer blockbusters and some people even think they’re
pretty good at it. But in Hancock‘s case, the machine is broken.