We already know Hancock is going to make a ton of money. Will Smith is the current #1 movie star without a doubt. He brings audiences of every race, creed, age and gender into see his films, and rightfully so, for the most part he makes entertaining films. This is not to say that expectation is what killed this film, it's just that bad. Hancock is such a mess it is hard to know where to start, but I will give it a shot.
Originally based on an R-rated script titled Tonight He Comes, Hancock has the feel of a film that has been tinkered and messed with to the point that it is unrecognizable. However, I have been told that the original script simply had a harder edge to it and the story remained intact, which tells me that this one didn't stand a chance from the beginning.
Designed around a rather interesting premise of which I will not spoil for those that do see it, the film has no idea where to take its drunken superhero on his way to becoming what he was "meant" to be. Even though cleverly written into the story, the plot's major narrative suffers from bouts with the "seen that," fisticuffs with the "been there" and all out brawls with the "when will this end?" Strangely enough Hancock only runs about 85 minutes (sans credits) and the entire time you are just wondering when the madness will stop.
Director Peter Berg (The Rundown and The Kingdom) is usually reliable with the camera, but this time you can't tell if he wants this to be a comedy, a drama or an all-out superhero battle of the immortals. Long takes focusing on a character's emotional state are interspersed with the wiggly raw hand-held work seen in The Kingdom. Just when you thought that was the end of the sporadic storytelling technique you get an all out war with CGI tornadoes and city destruction on such a level that city planners would just say, "Fuck it, we gotsta move."
Will Smith never looks comfortable as the character John Hancock. Not in the opening sequence when he puckers his lips for - is it comedic effect? - or when he is strutting down the street in his superhero skin tight suit. Characters' motivations switch on a dime and in the end you aren't sure what exactly you just watched and the trailers are no help as the major thrust of the film isn't found in one iota of marketing material. Audiences prepped for one thing are going to get something completely different. This typically wouldn't be a problem, that is when the "something different" is good, but in this case it is a mess.
Smith is sure to have a major hit on his hands with this film, but it will put a slight blemish on that Teflon image he has. Of course he has Seven Pounds later this year, which could gain him some Oscar talk, so I don't think he will be hurt for too long.
It’s hard to find a person who didn’t like 2012’s Dredd, a film that stands alongside RoboCop as the ultra-violent, dystopic film fans needed at the time, but a sequel to the movie hasn’t been forthcoming; in fact, over the past few years, the likelihood of a second outing for Olivia Thirlby and Karl Urban’s chin has hovered around zero. Read more