Everyone knows that 4th of July weekend belongs to Will Smith. All you have to do is look back at Independence Day, MIB, Wild Wild West, MIB II, and I, Robot just to name a few to realize that Hollywood seriously knows how to bank on an actor as big as Will. Now I've been obsessed with and praising the talents of Will Smith ever since the days of Fresh Prince and that's exactly why this is going to be so hard. I can already sense the tension in the air from that last sentence. Stay with me guys, breathe deeply, and believe me when I say this:
Hancock is a gigantic disappointment.
Seriously. I'm not talking about being sad because you strolled over to the vending machine and they're out of peanut butter Twix disappointment, I'm talking going to your best friends bachelor party to find out when you get there that the stripper who popped out of the giant cake turned out to be your sister level of disappointment. Now before you turn green and rip your shirts off, let me explain. Almost every question sent to me looked like this
Early trailers of this movie showed it as a silly superhero spoof. But lately the trailers have made it seem like a semi-serious coming of age/never too late to redeem yourself movie. Which is it? Or is it one of those movies that changes halfway through cough*Stripes, Full Metal Jacket, Dusk till Dawn*cough
- Derek P.
My anticipation level for Hancock was practically through the roof when I saw the very first trailer. After all, the premise from what they were showing us was genius. "A superhero movie starring an alcoholic bum who gives less than a crap about how he gets the job done or how people see him, and it's starring Will Smith? Well damn, sign me up!" However, the more time went by, the more they started changing the trailers around from comedy, to serious, to more serious. Then to top it all off, the original world premiere of Hancock, set to show in Australia was CANCELLED. The rumored reason?
On big Hollywood films, re-shooting either means that an actor died on the set halfway through the movie, or that there's something seriously wrong with the final product, someone important doesn't like it, and it needs to urgently get changed for unknown reasons. To say I was nervous would be an understatement.
However, I'm a fair guy and Will Smith is one of my acting heroes, so I still had hopes and got punched right in the face.
Lets begin. Hancock opens up in Cali, where we meet Will Smith as Hancock; the carefree, alcoholic, cursing bum version of Superman. When he flies off under the influence to stop a high-speed police chase and ends up causing $9 million in damages, we find out that his methods are extremely sloppy, and he just doesn't give a crap. When Hancock saves Ray Embray (Jason Bateman) from getting nailed by a train, Ray reveals he works in public relations, and wants to help Hancock get the right image that should be deserved of a lifesaving hero.
Do you know what happens next? Nope, nobody does, because that's as far as the trailers ever got. At this point in the movie, a series of surprisingly ridiculous pieces of new information are revealed to us, all of which contain so many spoilers that it would instantly ruin the movie (or wildly confuse you) if I told them to you. On top of that, every single one of these pieces of new plot info is thrown in our face all at once, so that we don't even have time to react. Worse yet, the plot of the movie changes.
That's right, the plot. What everyone went in expecting to see " a dark comedy about the last guy you would expect to be a hero with the powers of Superman, turns into bites lip a drama/romance movie. I am not kidding. Now, don't get me wrong, I can be a fan of those kinds of movies when they're done properly. Spider-man and Spider-man 2 had their shares of drama and romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane; it was done perfectly.
But when the movie forces us to care about a plot point we really just have no interest in? That's just wrong. On top of that, the movie has no villain. Yes, you read that correctly. There is no big villain in Hancock. There is 1 guy who does bad things at the end of the movie from out of nowhere for about 27 seconds, but there's no villain. No showdown. No clash of titans, no ultimate face-off between good and evil. Spider-man had the Green Goblin, Batman Begins had Henri Ducard, Hulk had the Abomination, The Fantastic 4 had Dr. Doom, Iron Man had Obadiah Stane/The Iron Monger, and Hancock has ? This movie's biggest flaw is that it is seriously suffering from identity crisis " it doesn't know what it wants to be. It started off black comedy, moved towards sci-fi superhero, then towards a romance(?) that is literally almost impossible to draw any feeling from, followed by immediate conclusion. Roll credits.
The Bottom Line: I still can't get over the disappointment. The first 1/3rd of the movie is exactly what the trailers promised, and you're sure to enjoy. After that, you're on your own, kiddo. If you're a gigantic Will Smith fan like me, you'll understand that this movie isn't his fault. He got thrown into something that was sloppy from the development stages and didn't get the support it needed in the writing department. The original concept for this movie was a brilliant dark comedy (there was even a scene involving statutory rape that got cut), but the desire to tone everything down got so extreme that they changed the entire movie altogether into an epic orgy of wtf.
Grade: I honestly can't give this anything over a C, and it's only that high because Will Smith does his best with the role he's given. Go see it, and you'll know why. I had such high hopes for this
Next week we'll hopefully pick ourselves and dust off with Hellboy II, followed by the long awaited light at the end of the tunnel oh my God it's getting closer The Dark Knight. Send all Hellboy II & The Dark Knight questions/statements/predictions to CHmoviereview@gmail.com, and yes I know Christian Bale is hot, you don't have to flood the mailbox.