Sunday, July 20, 2008
And then there is Hancock
Review by Christopher Coleman
There has certainly been no shortage of hero and superhero films this Summer...and good ones at that. The main marketing tack of Will Smith's latest July 4th extravaganza sought to distinguish this film from your ordinary, run-of-the-mill heroes (Indiana Jones perhaps?) and superheroes (Iron Man, Hulk, Batman?). These clever guys chose some interesting words to close their tag line, "...and then there is Hancock." I doubt it was their intent, but that is the phrase that has lingered in my brain since listening to the score and seeing the film.
Just what is HANCOCK? A superhero film? A comedy/action film? It's hard to say exactly. In the film, the question at hand is, "Just WHO is Hancock?" He appears to be a super-do-gooder with the standard set of superpowers: speed, flight, super-strength, virtual indestructibility, but the brotha has a few issues too. He's an arrogant drunk lacking even a modicum of manners. He intends to help out society, but usually leaves a wake of inadvertent destruction that negates any good he may have done. He's a superhero with amnesia; an identity crisis and has seemingly given up on finding out who he is and more importantly "why" he is. And it may well have gone on that way, but he meets struggling public relations agent, Ray (Jason Bateman) and his girlfriend, Mary (Charlize Theron) and destiny moves its hand. It becomes Ray's mission to transform Hancock into the hero he was meant to be - one the people of Los Angeles will love and appreciate. The new question becomes whether or not Hancock will be able to make the sacrifices and changes necessary and eventually come to understand who he is...and how Mary factors into his life as well. The premise for the film is certainly interesting, but the whole package is a bit difficult to classify. It has many of the elements of a classic, Summer-superhero-film, but it seems the intent of the director was to stand those elements on their ear a bit. There is a comedic edge - a fairly adult comedic edge, an uncomfortable and telegraphed plot twist, and then a predictable resolution. Hero flicks, I get. Superhero films? No problem, but then there's HANCOCK and I'm just a little puzzled.
Read the full review here