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Hancock (Two-Disc Unrated Edition) (2008)

A movie directed by Peter Berg

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A Fun Superhero Flick That Takes Itself Seriously

  • Jan 22, 2009
Rating:
+3
"Hancock" is an oddity, both the title character and the film as a whole. Instead of a typical superhero story that includes an origin story, a sinister villain and a love interest, we are given a tale of a lonely man looking for his place in this world (as well as an origin story, sinister villain and love interest).

Will Smith portrays the title hero (anti-hero) who drinks, swears and does more damage to the city than the criminals he's after. He simply doesn't want to be a hero. When called upon, he takes his time getting to the scene, usually botches his landing and aggravates more than he impresses. He's also terribly lonely, and wonders if there is anyone else like him.

When he saves a kind-hearted publicist, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), he accepts the man's offer of "image" help. Soon enough, Hancock finds himself in favor with the masses, but does he truly find what he longs for: an equal?

All of the key elements of a superhero tale are present, just not in the order (or method of delivery) that you'd expect. We do eventually learn Hancock's past, but from an unlikely source. There's also a love interest, albeit a very unique one. And, of course, we do get a very sinister villain, but even this villain finds justice at the hands of an unlikely source.

Overall, this film is one part comedy, one part action and two parts drama. The language in this unrated version is very strong, even an "F" bomb gets dropped. The action is fast but suffers from poor CGI once in awhile. All of the cast, from Smith to Bateman to Charlize Theron, give solid performances. Peter Berg's direction can be erratic at times and does have a somewhat gimmicky feel to it, but it is sufficient.

The unrated single-disc DVD has a few special features, and all of them are worth a look. I especially enjoyed the "Building a Better Hero" and "Bumps and Bruises" featurettes. "Mere Mortals" is okay, but Peter Berg does grate the nerves a bit.

In summary, I give three and two-thirds stars (I round up) to "Hancock." The story is very good but would have been even better with more solid direction and a stronger script overall. Keep the young'uns away if strong language bothers you. Also, there's a bit of a love triangle that some parents might feel is too hard to explain to younger children.

Recommended.

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More Hancock reviews
review by . January 22, 2011
Call me crazy, but I just don't think Will Smith is that great an actor. I mean, I like him in movies like this and Men in Black, but I don't like his dramatic roles and I think he's just trying to grub for Oscars. I hated him in the Pursuit of Happyness, I hated him in Seven Pounds, but I love him in this because this is exactly the type of movie he's good at. Hancock is a very good entertaining movie and Will Smith's second best movie (first being Men in Black). It was fairly …
review by . February 20, 2011
Call me crazy, but I just don't think Will Smith is that great an actor. I mean, I like him in movies like this and Men in Black, but I don't like his dramatic roles and I think he's just trying to grub for Oscars. I hated him in the Pursuit of Happyness, I hated him in Seven Pounds, but I love him in this because this is exactly the type of movie he's good at. Hancock is a very good entertaining movie and Will Smith's second best movie (first being Men in Black). It was fairly …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The movie was a good watch and humorous in general. Will Smith was awesome as always, and the other actors were pretty great too. The plot actually felt flowed pretty well, and I really enjoyed the kick plot twist. The wholesome idea of the movie, but the coordination of scenes and progression of events was somewhat hard to follow. Also, the plot about the guys trying to kill hancock was undercut way to much for its significance in the final scene. The camerawork was the horrible. It really was …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A constantly drunk and slovenly superhero was a refreshing take on superhero movies. Will Smith and Charlize Theron both had very strong performances. I personally liked the surprise twist.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's really sad because the first 35 minutes of this film are witty and charming, then it just goes downhill from there with plot twists and, well, just a disaster.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Hey H'wood: just because Will Smith's movies make money doesn't mean they're any good. Give it a rest.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A good non generic super hero movie. I suggest watching it.
review by . September 02, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Hancock takes a daring approach to the Super Hero mythos.  Where as most superheroes are actually quite heroic, doing what it takes to save those in danger and be all around good role models for kids... John Hancock throws all that out the window and instead opts for a surly, mean and careless superhero who has no charisma whatsoever.  Did I mention he's played by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?        Yes, Will Smith plays the drunk, rude and quick to anger …
review by . January 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dvd cover
Superman was raised by a kindly couple and taught the decent way to live and respect life. Thor is the God of thunder who was exiled from his home of eternal Asgard to live on Earth as a mortal so that he may learn humility. Spider-man required personal tragedy so he could realize the responsibility of having powers--Batman deals with his tragedy in a very different way, for him he does what he does for vengeance. All comic book "super-heroes" have their stories of the "why's", …
review by . April 12, 2009
Will Smith's jaded superhero vehicle Hancock starts out well enough - albeit with a premise not a million miles away from Pixar's The Incredibles, but the screenplay leaks coherence as it goes on, and by its conclusion has virtually none left.     There was just too much in the plot arc for it to have much hope of hanging together: the plot twists significantly and starts off in quite different directions on more than one occasion, and in its final act where you might expect …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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