Hancock Review

8 Jul

As I said in my July 4th post, my family likes to go to a Will Smith action movie on July 4th as a tradition. On the 4th we went and saw “Hancock.” (The wikipedia link contains spoilers) Here is my review:

“Hancock” is about a disgruntled, alcoholic, lonely superhero in Los Angeles. He seems to have Superman’s basic super powers, excluding the vision powers. So, he can fly, jump over the tallest buildings, stop bullets and is very strong. John Hancock is not very well like around LA. Even though he regularly stops crime and saves people his alcoholic methods seem to always cause a lot of damage. During one of his rescues he saves a man named Ray (played by Jason Bateman) who’scar is stuck on train tracks with a train coming. Hancock decides to flip Ray’s car onto another then stop the train by standing in front of it. Of course, stopping a trains engine cold causes the rest of the cars to stack up and wreck.

After this rescue, most of the witnesses start calling Hancock names and telling him how he should have saved Ray. The only person who thanks Hancock is Ray. Ray is a PR (public relations) and invites Hancock home (to carry Ray and his car) and then inside for dinner. It just so happens that it is “spaghetti madness” night, yummy meatballs. This is where Hancock meets Ray’s wife (played by Charlize Theron) and son (from a different mother).

During this scene we finally learn about Hancock’s past. The earliest thing he remembers is 80 years in the past waking up in a hospital room injured, but the nurses needle breaks and his body eventually heals itself. Hancock has amnesia and finds himself alone in a Miami hospital with two tickets to the hit new movie “Frankenstein.” No one comes to claim him, and as he is leaving someone asks him for his “John Hancock” and he didn’t understand that was slang for signature and assumed that was his name.

Hancock’s 80 years of alcoholic super hero-ing (and he doesn’t age) is fueled by his loneliness and the thought that he must have been a pretty big jerk that no one wanted to claim him. Ray decidesthat sending Hancock to jail will help his image withthe public. Ray says that as Hancock is away and crime rises that everyone will beg for him to come back. This will also allow Ray to smooth over some of the rough spots in Hancock’s personality.

When Hancock goes to jail we see one of my pet peeves in movies recently. That is films putting scenes in trailers that are NOT contained in the theatrical release of the movie! Remember all those commercials with Hancock in a chain gang and taking a step and pulling all the other prisoners to the ground? Yea, not in the movie!!!!

Hancock has some very funny and interesting scenes in prison like when he flies over the fence to get a basketball. Causing all the alarms to go off, but Hancock just jumped right back into prison. Hancock also uses his fingernails to decorate the walls in his cell, and when the call comes, he uses his fingernails to shave his face.

After Hancock returns to the real world is when the twist occurs. It isn’t quite as severe a twist as M. Night Shyamalan uses in all of his movies, but a definite twist. As is my policy, I will not spoil the twist (though the homepage of Yahoo! was spoiling it earlier this morning).

Bottom line is that Hancock begins to lose his powers and the final “fight scene” is a struggle in more ways than one. I thought it was a very good scene for a “super hero” movie. They did a good job of showing the physical and emotional battle that was going on as Hancock realizes what is happening and what he must do to be the hero once more. Of course, all the good guys end up living happily ever after!

Now, I will say I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed the acting. I enjoyed the writing. I did NOT enjoy the shaky camera work. I understand that this had to be an artistic choice, but I do not get it. The audience was never told or thought that this was some sort of documentary. It was just a movie. Throughout the movie the camera is CONSTANTLY moving and at times it moves away from the subject of the scene just to move back. The problem With that is that the camera stayed focused the same, meaning that while the subject wasn’t in frame, everything was blurry. On the big screen this camera work gave me a headache, I’m hoping on the slightly smaller screen in my living room that it will be better so I can buy this movie when it comes out!

I would give this movie a 3.5 out 5 and if they had used a Steadicam instead it would probably be a 4!

Quote(s) of the movie: “Call me an asshole one, more, time!” “Call me crazy one, more, time!”

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