Hancock (2008)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
So sue me.

This film was selected from ‘The 250

There are solid reasons behind people’s distaste for Will Smith’s Hancock that are completely warranted. I guess I understand the point underneath it all more than others. Truth is, I actually reviewed this when it first came out for a review series I called The Veoh Review. Back then, I was horrible at reviewing anything. I basically said – here’s the plot, and then said…I liked it or didn’t. It was scarily bad. My initial rating for it was 4 ½ stars out of 5. Now, that rating has dropped for me some, but not terribly. I still like it loads more than your typical critic, so I’ll try to explain why.

As most of you know, Will Smith stars as Hancock – your unlikely superhero of the day. Yeah, he’s this alcoholic, gangsta guy that has super powers and recklessly saves lives. He basically breaks everything in sight because he always makes the wrong choice when doing his civil duty. That’s where our pal, Jason Bateman drops in. He has a confusing job that has something to do with charity work, but just know he wants to change the world and make it a better place. His next charity case was, you guessed it, Hancock himself. The plan is to build him into a better man to one day be looked up to as a real life, selfless superhero.

Hancock, the drunk and careless superhero – is perfectly sculpted. I don’t mean his body, I mean his character. The trailers did a good job at portraying the unlikely superhero as something we’ve never seen before. They gave him a memorable look, and filled it with…well…the idea that it would be a dark comedy. Yeah, this guy has a depressing life, but the way they execute the film as this careless dude, practically anti-hero was priceless. I don’t think anyone was expecting it to change so radically so quickly. We don’t see much of the drunk superhero, and it turns into this coming-of-age tale with no real villain or antagonist. Needless to say, people were disappointed.

I, however, liked it. So sue me. I liked it because it was still the unlikely hero. It was still something we’ve never seen before. A part of me wanted to see more of the drunken superhero, but that was never the plan that this film set forth. It was about redemption, it was about overcoming the pains of the past, of realizing the worth of people underneath you. All that. The antagonist was simply Hancock himself. Man vs. self. He is indestructible, yet always finds a way to self-destruct. It also had a lot of great humor in both dark and light tones. It’s definitely a different type of movie, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. It missed some potential, but it was far from horrid.

We’re talking about Will Smith here. Even the trailers alone seemed interesting, but didn’t seem to fit the man. I don’t want to stoop so low as to say he’s a typecast, but I do know that he has standards and tastes in film – I’ve never seen him to be a jerk in film. Not really. Not his style. He can do it, I’m sure, but I’m not sure how I would have liked the movie if it was 100% dark comedy, since I’m not always the biggest fan of those. No, Will Smith is an inspirational actor, it’s one of the main contributing facts about him which makes me love his craft. People can look up to him. He hasn’t really made a lot of waves in movies lately, not since this film…but I still have mad respect for him.

The Good:

Will Smith is the unlikely superhero. No matter what any other critic says, this film is worth the watch. Keep in mind that if you’re watching a movie about an unlikely superhero, don’t expect it to be like your typical superhero movie. That should be obvious, but apparently it’s not. Also, don’t be fooled by the trailers…it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The Bad:

Like I said, people have their bad opinions of this film, and I understand every single complaint. It is a coming-of-age story with no real villain. The drunken superhero subplot isn’t the main part of the movie…blah blah – that kind of stuff really pisses people off. But hey, to each their own.

Memorable Quote:

Hancock: All of you people, blocking the intersection, you’re all idiots.


2 thoughts on “Hancock (2008)

  1. I don’t think he needed to go full out with the costume and stuff. I liked the way Hancock was in the beginning. He should have stayed true to that character, but just become a little more professional by the end. Basically, more like a classic Will Smith character. I think it should have had more dark comedy in it, but I agree the tone should shift by the end with the character development. IIRC the movie went through a few different directors and they each changed some things, so there’s a little bit of an inconsistent feeling to the movie, but overall, I still think it works for the most part, and is still pretty entertaining. Probably not in my top 5 Will Smith movies, but it’s one I’d probably buy. I heard a while back that a sequel was planned. IMDB still has it listed, but I haven’t heard anything about whether they’ve actually done anything with it or not.


  2. Glad you like this one. I’ve only seen it the once and I remember really liking it. Perhaps I have a bad memory – I can’t remember the end of I Am Legend either! – but I can only remember the first few scenes. Maybe I should watch it again!


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