The film has stormed through the box office in the UK, but has fared mixed reviews. I am completely a fan of Will Smith and find him a charismatic individual on and off screen who can hold his own as show opener for most film genres; so I hoped hand on heart that Hancock would not disappoint. I avoided the spoilers as best as I could (more on that later) and hoped that this long awaited film would storm through.
If you look at the cast it’s a a clever one, and is abound with well placed individuals such as Jason Bateman and Oscar winner herself Charlize Theron. (Don’t forget a fantastic turn by the Englishman Eddie Marsan - who was born in the same streets as me..)
If you are unaware, Its one of those where the script floated around Hollywood for many years, and had numerous names attached to it throughout the last ten years. It took Smith’s interest to bring it to fruition and the result is an interesting production that veers between moments of genius and unfortunately a soupspoon of utter silliness.
Its an excellent idea for a film that sits perfectly as a counter strike to today’s superhero genre. Hancock is an alcoholic superhero, impervious to aging and pain and destruction, he helps people whilst hating himself and drinking bottles of Whiskey. (Like wolverine but without any care fior anything at all) The city hates him, he’s attempts at helping the Los Angeles area end up with millions of pounds of damage to the streets around him.
His life changes as he saves the life of a rather uninspiring but well meaning PR executive Ray (played by Bateman), who takes Hancock under his wing by trying to change his image. Bateman’s wife (Theron) does not want any part of this desire to fix Hancock, and makes it known. The rest of the plot could be seen as an excuse for imaginative set pieces and CGI.
The film is strange to call, as it is a production of three acts. Internet rumours stated the film was going to rated R (18 as it were), and indeed there are scenes aplenty on the cutting room floor (find out what happens when a superhero ejaculates…..well you get the drift) that would have made the film more adult orientated. As it stands there is a confusion and very oviously arguments behinds the scenes as to where the film should move.
The first third is very well designed with shaky cam action scenes that are definitely well thought and cleverly made. The second half of the film merges into drama where an interesting yet unsubtle plot twist, escalates the plot, and the conclusion reverts to action and interesting use of dwindling super powers.
Anyways (I seem to say that a lot these days)
What we have is something much more convoluted than comfortable, yet vastly original and almost brave. The trailers suggest action film, yet it isn’t; at least not in the traditional sense of what we would consider an action film to be. Part melodrama, part comedy, part action, dubious ending aside, it makes a good flick, and should be watched at the cinema with an open mind, or on DVD where the deleted scenes are more than likely going to blow your mind as to the possibilities of what the film should have been.