Saturday, 26 September 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 10 July 2008 08:59

ThumbnailPerennial favorite Will Smith is one of those lucky actors that can jump the fence from comedian, to action hero, to Oscar caliber performer with seemingly as little effort as it takes to change his boxer-briefs. There’s no question Smith is a talented guy. His latest offering, Hancock, allows him to have some fun with a character that isn’t your typical hero type.

Hancock is a rude, crude, drunkard whose life couldn’t get any lonelier and he seems to like it that way. Trouble is he’s a drunk with superpowers, and superpowers mixed with a whisky bottle are a lethal combination. He spends his days fighting crime when it’s absolutely necessary, but always seems to make a bigger mess of things while he’s at it. Whether sideswiping high-rises while flailing about through the sky or smashing up the streets during an extremely ungraceful landing, Hancock is costing the taxpayers money and they don’t like it one bit.

Enter Jason Bateman as Aaron Embry, a public relations guy whose dream is to change the world for the better. His problem is that his philanthropist causes never seem to pay off. When Hancock saves his life he decides he wants to return the favor by saving his reputation and turning him into the hero the city wants. His wife (Charlize Theron) wishes he’d quit the crusade and leave the alcoholic avenger to his own business, but she seems to have her own ulterior motive.

If you want to draw deeper meaning from this film you could look at it as a reflection of the world we live in today. Much like this deadbeat superhero, the superpowers of the world like the US, charge around aimlessly ready to save the day but often seeming to make things worse instead of better. These parallels are fun to look at, but in the end I think Hancock is really just an entertaining movie that enjoys playing destruction derby with set pieces.

ThumbnailThe special effects are well done. Scenes where Smith is hurtling through the streets reminded me a little of Spiderman where Peter Parker is learning to swing on his webs. I loved the way Hancock flies all over the sky like a drunk would drive, his arms and legs flailing about behind him; toting the ever present liquor bottle in one hand, fighting crime with the other.

The acting ups the caliber of the film and gives it some heart. Will Smith brings depth to the character, and I actually forgot for a while who I was watching up there on screen. His features look a little different and he carries a bit more weight, as well as a sour expression most of the time. Jason Bateman gave my favorite performance in the movie, somehow maintaining a hopeful innocence while delivering his signature wry, sarcastic humor. He’s definitely one to watch these days, especially after his performance in Juno.

Overall, Hancock is no masterpiece, but is fun to watch. It can be a bit of a mish-mash of scenes that often don’t flow very well from one to the next. But it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is all the better for it.