Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Kaboom Review Action Movie Rating: 80
A malcontent, recalcitrant superhero struggles to find his true self.
Hancock brings a fresh, humorous edge to the superhero movie. The quick pace, twisting plot, and original premise make this highly entertaining movie easy to watch and well worth seeing.
Take everything you know about superhero movies and toss it out the window. Hancock takes the superhero genre of film and tosses it on its head. John Hancock (Will Smith) plays the role of the sullen, cantankerous hero who has fallen into public disdain due to the wanton destruction he wreaks whenever he performs a public service. Rude, disheveled, and feisty, Hancock manages to get himself booed even when saving someone’s life. A chance meeting with Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), who plays the role of an optimistic public relations specialist, begins a transformation in Hancock, however. From here the film canters forward nicely, and tosses in a few twists and surprises on its way to a satisfying conclusion.
Hancock works as a film for a number of reasons. First off, this is a funny film. It takes quite a bit to get me to laugh out loud in a movie theater, but there were several occasions where this film had me chuckling. There are two elements to this. The script delivers nicely in many places with some sharp lines. Add in the acting of Will Smith—who nails the role of superhero John Hancock—you end up with some genuinely entertaining scenes. To a point, some of this humor is hardly original, but the combination of Smith and script make it highly effective.
All along the way, Smith’s acting helps this film. At times, yes, he does seem to get a bit wooden in his role, but overall he does an excellent job striking a rather difficult balance with his character. If he turns up the nastiness too much, he risks alienating the audience to his character, but if he softens it too much he risks taking the unique edge off his character. Smith manages to find the perfect middle ground. You find yourself relating to and rooting for Hancock, and if this didn’t happen, the film would have failed miserably. Add in effective support from Jason Bateman and functional support from Charlize Theron and you end up with the foundations of a strong movie.
Even with this foundation in place, Hancock could have ended up a very mediocre film, but the film gets a lot of the critical details right. The 92-minute film progresses briskly: just when I felt like things were settling in, the film changed things up with some effective plot twists. The entertaining story sticks to its premise as well, and the characters stay within themselves.
Action-wise, Hancock ends up on the more subdued end of the scale. The strengths of Hancock are its story, characters, and script. In many ways, this film is more of a drama than an action film. Although the action fits in beautifully, it plays a definite minor role in the movie. Even the villain is more of an afterthought than a role. What action we do get, however, is effective and fast. Hancock’s exploits give the film some moments of high energy and occasional humor. It’s hard not to chuckle at the whale scene!
In terms of babes and hunks, Charlize Theron adds some adequate eye candy to the film from the female side of things, and a clean-shaven and buffed Will Smith shines from the male side. Other than that, there is little to note.
In conclusion, Hancock deserves strong kudos for its fresh take on a superhero, its punchy script, its entertaining story, and its unique characters. While this film never reaches any level of greatness, it stands as a highly entertaining hour and a half of fun and action.
According to IMDB, the script for this movie has been in existence for over ten years.
Consistent Premise: 88
Body Count: 14
Time to First Dead Body: Not Sure
Special Effects: 73
[tags]Hancock, Peter Berg, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, action movie, movie review[/tags]