Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason
Bateman, Eddie Marsan, Jae Head, David Mattey,
Thomas Lennon, Johnny Galecki, Hayley Marie Norman
RunTime: 1 hr 32 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hancock/
Opening Day: 3 July 2008
There are heroes... there are superheroes... and then there's
Hancock (Will Smith). With great power comes great responsibility
– everyone knows that – everyone, that is, but
Hancock. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic, and misunderstood, Hancock's
well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless
lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their
wake. The public has finally had enough – as grateful
as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of
Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this
guy. Hancock isn't the kind of man who cares what other people
think – until the day that he saves the life of PR executive
Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), and the sardonic superhero begins
to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing
that will be Hancock's greatest challenge yet – and
a task that may prove impossible as Ray's wife, Mary (Charlize
Theron), insists that he's a lost cause.
While everyone else is focusing on Will Smith’s portrayal
as a misunderstood superhero (we can’t deny the fact
that the two time Oscar nominee has come a long way since
his Fresh Prince of Bel Air days), we shall shift our focus
and look at his co-star in this movie instead. And we are
talking about Oscar winner Charlize Theron (2003’s Monster).
Just when we were wondering what an oh so serious actress
like her (her credentials also include other oh so serious
movies like In the Valley of Elah and North Country) is doing
in an action comedy like this, we were reminded of Theron’s
ability to emote really expressively during the last third
of this 92 minute movie when she started acting, well, oh
this is exactly the problem of this eye boggling special effects
extravaganza directed by Peter Berg (The Kingdom, The Rundown).
We were expecting to have a laugh a minute summer no brainer
with wise cracks from Smith’s flawed and drunk protagonist.
But as the plot develops, we get an awkward change in direction
that left us feeling, well, oh so serious.
we first see Hancock, he is damaging buildings, cars and trains
just to get his job done. It is okay if nobody gives him credit
for saving the day, but condemning the reluctant superhero?
It’s a bit too much for the poor guy to take. After
saving a PR agent (an underused Jason Bateman), things begin
to look good as a campaign to salvage Hancock’s reputation
is launched. There is also a grouchy wife (Theron) who comes
along and makes things a little difficult for the superhero.
giving too much away, let’s just say the inclusion of
Theron as the PR agent’s wife isn’t coincidental.
Just as you thought this would be a breezy job for the award
winning actress (all we can remember are her sashays, smiles
and pouts during the first half of the movie), things become
explosive (figuratively and literally) when a plot twist is
this is when you see how powerful Theron is – the girl
deserves her Oscar.
if we may, we’d like to commend Smith for taking up
this role, adding to the versatile catalogue of other personalities
in movies like the recent I Am Legend, the emotional The Pursuit
of Happyness and the campy Men in Black. He is on his way
to become an all rounded actor, that we are sure.
the summer blockbuster crowd, the abovementioned plot twist
may be a little too much to take, with all the moralizing
and self righteous themes of undying love. But distractions
come in the form of computer generated effects: Watch out
as the destructive Hancock destroys vehicles, throws a whale
into the sea and stops a crashing train. These effects may
be nothing spectacular in today’s day and age, but they’ll
do for the popcorn nibbling crowd.
if you scroll up to the top of this review page and take a
look at the Singapore version of the movie poster, wouldn’t
it be nice to see the Esplanade being destroyed by Hancock?
Review by John Li
(An awkward plot twist and a handful of special effects will
not have Hancock’s name in the superhero’s hall