Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The good news is that Will Smith's career can survive HANCOCK

What about Magna Carta? Did she die in vain?I like Will Smith. He has a charming, amiable personality and he's brilliant at making wholesome family comedies. He's so damn charming he survived WILD, WILD WEST. So, claims that HANCOCK is going to do to Smith's career what THE LAST ACTION HERO did to Arnie are likely wide of the mark. Moreover, while HANCOCK is a deeply flawed movie, it's by no means a complete disaster.

The first half of the movie is actually a lot of fun. It's laugh-out loud funny and it contains cool special effects and a buddy relationship to believe in. Will Smith plays a reluctant superhero called Hancock. He feels unappreciated and reacts by being rude to the people he's helping. Hancock is transformed into a considerate, professional superhero by a warm-hearted PR man called Ray (Jason Bateman). It's wonderful to see our down-trodden hero finally get the public recognition he deserves.

Sadly, the second half of the movie is weird, rushed, logically flawed and completely different in tone to the first half of the film. This is motivated by an easily spotted plot twist. It's as though the screenwriters didn't have the balls to follow through on their premise:
what happens when a superhero has as complicated an emotional life as your typical adult? Even more interestingly, they hint at, but don't have the balls to address fully, the issue of inter-racial dating. Instead, we get a fudged, rushed ending that makes no sense at all. And yes, I know superheroes are a fantasy but the rules of the game have to be consistent enough to support our willing suspension of disbelief.

HANCOCK is released this weekend in the USA, the UK, Canada, China, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Singapore, Slovenia, Brazil, India and Venezuela. It opens the following weekend in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Mexico and Poland. HANCOCK opens on July 16th in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden. It opens in August in Turkey and Japan and in September in Italy and Greece.


  1. Hancock looks like interesting little spin on the latest craze for superhero movies... at least Will Smith tends to be pretty funny

  2. Another so/so superhero/comic book film this year then? Apart from Dark Knight and Hellboy 2, do think this could be the end of the comic book glut from Hollywood (barring of course Watchmen)?

  3. Dark Knight and Hellboy 2 were always going to be the pick of the crop, so I'm still hopeful about them despite the low quality of everything else this summer. As for Watchmen, unless they make a trilogy it's bound to suck. Even a great director couldn't condense all that rich material into one film......

  4. I hear there's going to be a DVD with a seperate story line released at the same time as the movie. It's going to be an adaptation of the comic book the kid is reading throughout the story.

    (I think, may have to double check).

  5. Hmmmm. Sounds interesting.

  6. They don't need to examine it. This isn't 'Crash'. They allude to it as the reason he was injured and has amnesia. They shouldn't have to spell it out for people. The idea that superhero's are a foil for each other was a lot more than I was expecting from the movie-the sacrifice that they make to be human and have like companionship at the expense of their powers is deeper than I would expect from a summer movie.