Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #87

Hancock (2008)

Plot: After saving the life of a PR Executive (Jason Bateman), the drunken and unpopular superhero Hancock (Will Smith) tries to repair his image and fall back in favor with the general public.

This movie is pretty easy to break down.  The first half is awesome.  The second half completely goes off the rails.  In fact, this may be the first movie in history where you can pin point the exact second where the film goes bananas.  It’s a really bad plot twist that is just unsettling.  Although watching it a second time, the plot twist is a little bit easier to swallow as there are subtle hints to its eventual arrival.  Getting to the stuff I like though…Hancock really impresses me with how well it blends comedy and drama.  9 times out of 10, this usually fails, but director Peter Berg nails it.  When you have a movie where the protagonist is literally shoving someone’s head up another man’s ass, but in another scene I feel genuinely sympathetic towards him, that’s pretty impressive.  It even happens in the span of one single scene.  One of Hancock’s most vulnerable moments comes after a bit of a goofy moment where him and a woman are in bed together, and we see Hancock’s powers can make him dangerous in that situation.  The woman just leaves as Hancock’s loneliness is shown perfectly on the screen.  It’s a strong example of how the genres are mixed to great effect.  It certainly helps when you have Will Smith driving the ship.  This is a superhero movie, but it’s quiet one.  When Hancock revamps his image and flies into a crime scene sober, you can kind of hear Supermanish type music.  The score and soundtrack in general are pretty good all around.  The film has a lot of great little moments.  When Hancock, Ray (Jason Bateman), and Mary (Charlize Theron) are all at dinner, and Hancock is telling his back story, you definitely get intrigued and want to figure out the mystery to his past.  Unfortunately once Hancock’s past is revealed, that’s when the movie loses its serious tone and becomes rather silly.  The revelations are explained poorly, and a lot of the good will the film had built up loses almost all of it pretty quickly.  They also randomly try and develop a villain in the last 15 minutes which just doesn’t work.  And at this point, the genres are no longer being mixed well.  The villain tries to have this serious moment with the two guys who were involved in the infamous ‘ass shoving’ scene.  I’m sorry, but there is no way in hell I’m taking them seriously after that.  Jason Bateman is fine for the most part, but doesn’t really fit.  And there is a little too much shakey cam at certain points.  Do we really need the shakey cam when Bateman’s character is in a board meeting?  Come on.  Hancock is worth seeing because of the first half, but I’ve never seen a movie go down hill faster then this one.  It’s a real shame.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (slightly better than ‘meh’)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Will Smith as Hancock
-Was this really a question?

Worst Performance: Charlize Theron as Mary
-It might be more the script, but her performance is completely uneven.  She’s fine in the first half, but when she’s revealed as another super being, it’s just a mess.  She’s overly serious one minute, then goofy and jokey the next.  It just doesn’t work.

Best Line: “You should sue McDonalds, because they fucked you up.” –Hancock in response to someone wanting to sue him
-There was a lot to choose from, but it’s Smith’s delivery that really sells this.

Worst Line: “I was in Cuba for the whole missile thing.” –Mary
-This is a conversation between her and Ray when he discovers she’s an immortal super powered being.  She’s telling him stories about the glory days.  Theron delivers this line like a school girl, which is why it’s so annoying.

Best Fight:
-There are none to pick.  The only option is between Hancock and Mary, but that one is really stupid.  And it doesn’t make any sense.  Why is there a random storm and tornado circling them when they fight?  That’s never explained.

WTF Moment:
-Ray is drinking a Dunkin Donuts coffee, but it’sLos Angeles, where there are no Dunkin Donuts.  What the hell is up with that!

Best Scene:
-Hancock’s first flying scene is filmed really well.  It truly looks like he’s drunk as we get a classic shot of him holding the bottle of liquor while floating around.  We also get this classic speech as Hancock approaches the gun car:

Hancock: Three guys in the car, no girls, rave music.  Hey, I’m not gonna judge.  But if you don’t pull over and give yourselves up quietly.  I swear to Christ, your head is going up the driver’s ass.  His head is going up your ass.  And you drew the short stick because your head is going up my ass.

Worst Scene:
-It’s the big plot reveal.  Mary and Hancock are kissing and she suddenly throws him through a wall.  No matter how you slice it, it just doesn’t feel right, and kind of silly.  It’s like Mary took this movie that was really good and then just pushed it through a wall.

Funniest Moment:
-When Hancock takes that whale and chucks it back into the ocean as it hits a sail, I laughed my ass off.

Bad Ass Moment:
-Hancock literally shoving one man’s head into another man’s ass was just pure insanity.  And for some reason, playing the Sanford and Son theme during it was just the icing on the cake.  For a dumb concept, this is actually a really well directed scene.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: THE FINAL RANKINGS « The Green Light

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