Sunday, July 6, 2008

HANCOCK

“HANCOCK” (Will Smith, Charlize Theron & Jason(or is it Justine?) Bateman
Hancock’s premise is ripe for parody; A modern-day superhero that doesn’t particularly want to help the human race & has a problem with alcohol to boot. And for the first half-hour or so, it sticks to that formula & thus is extremely entertaining – the film garners ALL of its funny moments in the first half. In football terms, it is kicking butt, up 28-0 at halftime. Then when it comes out for the second half, it’s as if the actors just ‘coast’ to the end / director Peter Berg decided he was far enough ahead that he threw out his game plan so that in the end, the lack of laughs & a seriously demented U-Turn in the plot wind up making ‘Hancock’ a 31-28 loser in overtime...
Ah, but the promise of watching something truly original, with a dark sense of humor that actually makes you laugh out loud (Something rare for the ‘dark’ kind) is such a pleasurable experience, you’re actually ‘pissed off’ when it decides to stop being funny – OR original. Instead, it turns into what it hopes will be a ‘dramatic love story for the ages’ - & on that vein, it fails in every aspect.
Charlize Theron has dis-associated herself from this flick, as well she should – It is her character that pretty much ruins everything...
Will Smith, as always, is still likeable as Hancock, even though he could give a crap what you think of him. He helps the LAPD capture criminals because he has ‘Superman-like’ powers, not because he enjoys helping mankind. So if he causes several million dollars in damages while apprehending a trio of bank robbers, oh well, that’s the way it goes, folks – you have to take the bad with the good.
Justine (or is it Jason?) Bateman plays Ray the dork – You know, the same character he’s played in every movie you’ve seen him in lately; a loser at his PR job & not at all the type of father his son could be proud of - Ray is rescued by Hancock in his usual, ‘oh, what the heck, I’m here, I might as well save this clown’ manner. Hancock thus gains a PR man who wants to thank the unappreciated superhero by helping him change his image. Hancock reluctantly plays along, it would seem for one reason – The schmuck is married to Charlize Theron. (Problem #1 – why would a woman with one of the most beautiful faces on the planet marry an annoying loser?)
The laughs become sporadic as Hancock willingly goes to prison on his PR man’s advice. The thinking being, the public take him for granted – let’s see how they like life where criminals are allowed to ‘get away’ with their crimes; you know, like it is here in the real world.
When Hancock is released to come to the rescue yet again, he’s a changed superhero – he’s no longer an unshaven, alcoholic smart-ass with holes in his pants; he’s a clean shaven, reformed alcoholic nice guy in a tight fitting superhero suit... In other words, the typical run of the mill boring comic book superhero.
Charlize, though looking absolutely gorgeous throughout, has to take the blame for turning ‘Hancock’ into a joke that ISN’T funny – for when her secret is revealed, my eyes rolled back as I realized another film with a great premise was about to bite the dust big-time...

8 comments:

Kurt said...

I couldn't have said it better Terry. Charleze did not look into it at all. Hard to believe it was the same actress as the one in Monster and North Country, or even her performance in The Devil's Advocate. I guess some actors feed off other actors better than other's. This movie actually let me down. It could have been so much better. It went total formulaistic, cliched second half. I wish some of these actors would take time off and maybe do one film a year instead of 2, 3 and with some, even 4.
Dare I say it. Could I be burning out on Will Smith. It's the same thing that happened to me with Nic Cage, when I really liked him, and then you were seeing him every three months in a different movie by the late 90's. Pacino, De Niro and Willis do the same thing. Why do they feel they have to do so many projects? After awhile have a little artistic intergrity will ya ? Will's next film should be better, as it's a real life drama with the same director he had with The Pursuit Of Happyness. Let's hope.

terry r. said...

Although I understand what you mean, Kurt, but one only needs to look back to last year when Phillip Seymour Hoffman appeared in 3 movies & gave 3 great performances - so maybe it isn't the number of projects actors take on, but the 'quality' of those projects. & I'm not burned out on Will at all - 'Hancock', even with its disappointing 2nd half was pretty darn good there for awhile. & I also liked 'I Am Legend' & of course 'Pursuit...'
So you liked Nicky Cage, huh? Never been a fan myself, his 'so-called' Oscar winning performance in 'Leaving Las Vegas' was an absolute joke to me - First, in that he played your typical slurring drunk with no dramatic change in his character at all &
2nd - Sean Penn was brilliant in
'Dead Man Walking' & deserved to win. So even though it doesn't stop me from seeing his films, he's a decent actor, but I do have that one 'problem' with him for winning an award he didn't deserve & 'stealing' it from my favorite actor! Thanks for checking in, Kurt.

Kurt B. said...

Well... Cage was on a minor roll for awhile. His choices of scripts were good and considered only to be touched by A list actors.
He had a run there of Rumblefish, Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Wild At Heart and It Could Happen To You even before Leaving Las Vegas. The only thing I think he has done that was halfway decent since then was Adaptation and Matchstick Men out of dozens of forgetable ones since.
Maybe Will is just seeming the same to me in every role he does in look and voice and isn't bringing any thespian qualities that distinguishes from any other general actor among all the other's out there making movies.

eddie said...

i'm with kurt. i thought this movie over all was underwhelming. smith couldn't rise above the average screenplay and weak third act.

terry r. said...

I disagree with your dissing of Will Smith, Eddie - I thought the first 45 minutes were outstanding & Will did a great job of being the superhero that didn't give a crap about mankind - the decision to stop being interesting & humorous wasn't Smith's fault. In fact, he was so good in the beginning that I have him at #5 on my Best Actors list (So far in 2008) Behind R.Jenkins, R.Downey, Jr., J.Bardem, & D. Cheadle.

Lilithas said...

I think actors/actresses have to take jobs because if they only do one film then go on hiatus, it'll be harder for them to land a film when they come back.

Imagine working for a month then taking a vacation for two weeks - sooner or later your company will be like, "Ok, you're not making as much money for us as we hoped, so you can leave now."

I know our jobs can't be compared with theirs, but I think their base is the same...

Anyway, good review, Terry. This is one I actually watched before reading.

Lilithas said...

Oh, and by the way...

"Charlize Theron has dis-associated herself from this flick, as well she should – It is her character that pretty much ruins everything..."

Laughed outright when I read that.

Terry R said...

When I saw that 'Hancock' was coming on Starz, I was excited because now I can just watch the first 45 minutes & feel like I've seen a great, but really short movie!