Monday, July 14, 2008


Super Hero movies have become very popular with the wave of comic book adaptations that have made bank in recent years. Even with the occasional stinker thrown in the mix, the genre has shown a strong ability to pull in audiences. With that in mind someone decided to make a Super Hero movie that is not, to the best of my knowledge, an adaptation of a comic book but rather is its own creation. The result was Hancock (2008).

Hancock (Will Smith) is the hard-drinking guy who catches bad guys for no apparent reason. Along the way he goes out of his way to destroy things at every opportunity. He appears to be highly unmotivated yet obviously has a history of helping...or rather destroying in the course of "helping" people with big problems.

His habit of causing mass destruction in the course of his exploits has the public turned against him and full of hatred for him. This will begin to change when he encounters hapless Image Consultant Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman). After Hancock saves Ray from a train Ray begins working with him to reform his image, to become someone the masses love instead of hate.

Unfortunately, it turns out Hancock and Ray's wife Mary (Charlize Theron) have a history together which is obvious from the beginning. There is a tension there whether Hancock will break up the marriage of idealistic Ray and his "Angel". Ultimately all is resolved in a happy ending that shows a cleaned up, caring Hancock doing his part not only to save the world but to help Ray make the world a better place.

The movie was pretty surprising. Throughout his career Smith has always had that edge of innocence. From his light-hearted rapper days as the Fresh Prince through his sit-com the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air through his entire movie career he has made relatively family-friendly fare. Even in Enemy of the State (1998) where there was a scene in a lingerie shop it was fairly clean. Not so with Hancock. This is a profanity laced expedition into realms that Smith has seldom if ever explored as part of his public persona. It would be like Miley Cyrus posing half-naked or Miss America showing up more or less in the buff. It is an example of pure perceptions shattered.

With that said, it was a pretty funny movie that should keep you interested beginning to end if you like Super Hero movies and/or Will Smith. There are some solid comedic moments and some more intense scenes as well. Bateman, Theron and Smith work well together and this is worth seeing.

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