- Posted July 2, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport at the movies
Review of "Hancock" - A Loss of a Movie
When we were invited to go see Hancock last night by one of my husband's friends, I was excited. It's a close shoutout to my maiden name and I'm a Will Smith fan (yes, he's on my "list") so I was excited about watching him wow the big screen yet again in what I assumed would be a great summer movie. I'm not really the type to typically enjoy superhero flicks, but I've seen two or three that I've enjoyed, and we weren't paying, so off we went. The results were astounding, and not completely in a good way.
The movie was tame enough for the first hour or so. For all intents and purposes, it seems that Hancock is a laid-back superhero who, instead of being the much-lauded savior of LA, is a homeless alcoholic who only saves those in need out of some twisted sense of duty. He is sarcastic, flippant, and reluctant to admit any sort of real humanity. He appears to be "just another guy" who couldn't care less about himself but is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others. Oh, yeah, and he can walk through bullets. We're introduced to Ray, an overachieving dad who wants to change the world one way or the other, and sees his means in the disgruntled Hancock, who is obviously in need of Ray's PR skills. Hancock kicks some evildoer butt (although we're never really introduced to any one, definitive, eviler-than-thou villain), saves a couple of people (including Ray, which is how they meet), and everything is going smoothly.
*_Warning: here be spoilers! If you haven't seen the movie, you may consider stopping here._ *
Now, let me preface this part by stating very clearly that I do not mind plot twists. In fact, I'm a fan of them: I'd rather be thrown a curveball I never saw coming than know that I'm going to be getting a bunch of lobbed-in pitches every single time. I don't mind veering left instead of constantly going straight. I like twists.
However, I do have a problem - a rather big one, in fact - with going from "straight and narrow" to "spin out into a right turn at 90 mph without bothering to slow down when you aren't wearing a seatbelt." Sadly, this is exactly what Hancock does.
Yes, this does prevent the movie from being some kind of predictable feel-good superhero-movie-gone-chick-flick. But half an hour before wrapup, we're introduced to new plots that are so far out of left field it isn't funny, and worse yet, they make no sense. We're given some insight as to Hancock's past, but we also find an unexpected - and confusing - connection between he and Mary, Ray's wife. The audience is thrown through a loop with the sudden realization that this is no longer a superhero movie, but the reconciliation of eternally tortured immortals who are apparently referred to as whatever is convenient for the society in question (be it "superhero" or "God's angels"). There's death, there's rebirth, there's love lost (that spent the entire movie being unknown anyway). And there isn't time for the audience to catch their breath and ask, "What the *&$%?"
This is not a Will Smith movie. There is no believable supervillain, no real backstory to explain our hated hero. The ending leads me to believe that one morning Mr. Smith woke up, got drunk, and decided that it would be really awesome to make a movie where he got to fly and oh, at the end? Yeah, he and Charlize Theron should totally want each other. That would be great. As a superhero movie, it's lackluster at best, but if you go in expecting nothing, you'll certainly come out with more than you anticipated. Just watch out for those tight corners.