- Released Internationally on 01/07/08
- Released in Malta by KRS on 09/07/08
In a nutshell
This is the first film that can truly claim to be a superhero movie with a difference. Hancock may well be a superhero with superpowers, but he’s also an alcoholic, has slightly unorthodox methods, and needs a shave. But when everyone else turns against him, one man tries to help him get his act together and improve his image.
Why we’re hyped
Two words: Will Smith. He’s likeable, he’s talented, and he’s been the leading man in a string of hits ever since Independence Day way back in 1996. And when you need a superhero with a touch of comedy, he seems like just the man to pull it off. This promises to be just as big on the special effects as on the laughs.
Who’s in it?
Apart from Hancock himself, there’s Jason Bateman (Juno, The Kingdom) playing the public relations consultant who tries to revamp Hancock’s look after having his life saved, and the always lovely Charlize Theron (Monster, The Devil’s Advocate) as Bateman’s wife. It’s directed by Peter Berg, who was behind the camera for the Saudi Arabia action thriller The Kingdom last year.
Is he legend?
Will Smith is as big a star as you can get nowadays, and in his last outing – last year’s I Am Legend, he practically carried the whole film on his shoulders, and elevated the film with his performance and his presence. Now he’s the title character yet again, but sadly not even Will Smith in superhero mode can save this film from the mess it gets itself into.
Not your average superhero
He does try his best however, and the film starts off very promisingly with a fairly original idea – a superhero who’s let himself go and needs to hone his social skills. We first meet Hancock as he’s passed out on a street bench, unshaven, unkempt and about to start nursing a nasty hangover. Before long he’s reluctantly using his superhuman strength and flying capabilities to save the day, but he manages to make a botched job of it and ends up annoying more people than he impresses. And so it goes on – a superhero who is seen as a nuisance by the city he protects. But after saving the life of a PR executive (Bateman), he is offered some tips to improve his public image and get his life back on track.
Great concept, what next?
So far so good, but that’s when things start to get messy. The original idea outstays its welcome, the plot takes off in a totally unexpected direction, and in the second and third acts the film isn’t sure whether it wants to be a comedy, a drama, or an all-out superhero action movie. We meet a rather confused Charlize Theron and a somewhat unconvincing bad guy, and by the end of the film the plot will have taken so many unexplained turns and twists that there’s a good chance you won’t really care what happens next. Rumour has it the film underwent a lot of last-minute editing, so chances are some much-needed explanations are lying somewhere on an editing-room floor.
It seems that when it comes to superheroes, it’s better to trust the big names. Some of the best-known comic-book heroes have recently given us top-notch film outings, on every level. Hancock aspires to be one of them, but he’s not sure which one.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/hancock/ (High-res QuickTime)