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Friday, November 21, 2008

Hancock — Movie Review

I caught Hancock in theaters this summer, and with the DVD release approaching, I figured it was time to finally write my first review in a while. I was actually a bit disappointed in the film when I saw it, but, as seems to happen more and more, I think the advertising hurt the movie more than anything.

Will Smith plays Hancock, a lazy superhero the public has actually grown to dislike. Sure, he does plenty of good deeds. The problem is that he isn’t exactly careful about how he goes about his superhero feats, usually destroying property among other things along the way. He eventually takes advice from a PR agent, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), and tries to turn his image around.

I went to the movie, as I suspect most people did, expecting a light-hearted action-comedy along the lines of Men in Black based on the commercials for the movie. While there are some funny moments, including one that made me laugh harder than anything I’ve seen in a movie in years involving one man’s head and another man’s backside, it really wasn’t a comedy. This film had plenty of drama to it, and was fairly sad on some levels. In fact, the climactic scenes suggested some impending disaster for the characters involved that weren’t even close to light-hearted.

It turns out Hancock has lived for centuries, but he only remembers his life since waking up in a hospital in the 1800s. The twist comes from Emery’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), who can answer all of Hancock’s questions about himself but wants nothing to do with him. Again, one of the reasons she wants him out of their lives is, I think, more than the typical “sadness” offered in such films. Hancock is also part of what was once a group of superheroes sent to protect humans, and there are the requisite “bad guys” that would like to see his kind completely gone.

In the final analysis, this is actually a pretty good film and worth a look. Just don’t let the advertisements fool you.

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