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Starring: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, and Charlize Theron
Run time: 1hr 42 minutes
Plot Synopsis: 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. Along the way he discovers the nature of his powers, the reasons for his amnesia, and his mysterious past.
I have always been drawn to superhero movies. Something about the thought of having super powers appeals to the kid in me. I would love to fly, have super strength, and super speed. Wouldn’t you? I think it appeals to all of us. We might not all enjoy superhero movies, but a part in all of us wants to have some kind of special ability. I think. And I have always been a fan of the traditionally Will Smith 4th of July blockbuster film. I’ve enjoyed every one, from “Independence Day” to the set of Men in Black movies. The movies may not be the best examples of cinema, but they never fail to entertain me. Sure, there is not much re-watch value, but they are good for 2 viewings, once on the big screen and once at home on DVD. Anyway, “Hancock” is a superhero movie. But it is not like your average superhero movie. This movie stars Will Smith as the superhero slob known as Hancock. Hancock is not without his human flaws, a characteristic of this movie you won’t find in most movies in this genre. He is an alcoholic, a slob, and foul mouthed. This hero is definitely not a role-model. When he is not “saving the day,” Hancock lays around on bus stop benches drinking his life away. When he is “called into duty,” he is reckless, with no regard for public safety and no remorse for the damages he causes in his pursuit of “justice.” And because of all of this, the public does not think highly of their “hero.”
It was originally based on a screenplay titled “Tonight, he comes.” It was written with some dark dark themes. It was thought that it could never work as a movie, it couldn’t be made. For instance, one particular scene that was written involved showing the rape of a small child. Now I’m not saying that I would like to have seen that in the movie. But it does give you an idea of dark the original piece was meant to be. And knowing this as I re-watched the DVD, I found myself disappointed. Because there was so much that could ve been better. The original work screamed for an R rating. Unfortunately, it did not turn out as intended. It was dark, but not that dark. The R rating was deemed too dark, so the film was shot for a PG-13 rating. The unrated cut I watched was not much darker.
What makes this movie special is the subject matter it touches on. There are real emotions here, and the film does a good job of getting the audience to feel for the characters. At first, I found myself upset and overall disgusted with Hancock. As the film progressed, you got to see some truly endearing qualities in him. I began to feel a bit for him. And in the end, when all is getting explained, I really felt bad for him. I connected with this hero more than any other hero I’ve seen on film. Hancock has really human problems just like the rest of us.
While the film played with emotions rather well, I felt that overall the action was lacking. I would have liked to see this film a little longer, with more room being given to action. Both when Hancock was acting like a slob and after he cleaned up his act. The action that was there, did little to help advance the story. It felt to me like it was there just to be there. And the obligatory boss battles (without giving anything away, there were two big “fights” with different “enemies”) were very different. One was very good. The “final showdown” as some would call it, was great. It was emotional, powerful, tense, and thrilling. An earlier big battle seemed silly to me. WIthout giving up too much, Hancock fought with someone who had similar powers, but I didn’t feel like this fight fit in the story well. Overall, I would have to say that as a movie, it was simply good. Not great. It had near endless potential. If it was a touch darker.
The unrated 2 disc DVD I picked up included the standard set of special features: behind the scenes footage and featurettes on stunts, costume design and special effects. As far as DVD’s go, this one is nothing special. The special features do not warrant a buy in my opinion. This movie is a solid rental. It was a nice story, and an interesting take on the genre overall. Action was okay, the drama was there. Pick it up for a nice Saturday night at home away from the cold. But I wouldn’t buy it. At least, that’s just my humble opinion. In case you are interested, “Hancock” comes out today!