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Hancock Review
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Outlanders
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7/2/2008 8:32 PM
    Once again we’ve been graced with a Super Hero movie on the big screen. This summer we’ve had quite a number of movies based on Comics, or Super Heroes… The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Wanted, Hellboy 2, The Dark Knight, and of course now we have Hancock.
     
    That’s six super hero movies this year, seven if you want to include the god awful Spoof that came out several months ago, the Superhero movie…
     
    I digress.
     
    The thing about Hancock is it’s not based on a comic! Well, at least not right now, although I’ve heard rumours that one of the two big comic companies is supposed to make a regular series on it.
     
    Now, before you read any further, as usual, my review contains no spoilers other than what you will have seen in the trailers for the movie. I don’t like to ruin things for other people.
     
    Now, back to the review itself. Hancock is completely different from any other super hero movie we’ve seen thus far because of the character himself, portrayed by Will Smith.
     
    Hancock is a complete bastard! Sure, he stops crime, and he saves people, but he doesn’t give a hoot about how much property damage he causes in the process.
     
    He’s also a drunkard and a bit of a bully… a bit? In a way, he reminds me of the way super heroes are portrayed in one of my favourite comics, The Boys (By Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson).
     
    Thus, even though he’s one of a kind, it makes him human. Why is he such a prick? Why does he have trouble dealing with people, why does he cause, quite literally, millions of dollars in damages whenever he stops the bad guys or, as I said, rescues people in need of help.
     
    A perfect example is his rescuing of Ray Embrey, a struggling public relation professional. Ray’s car is about to be hit by a train, and when Hancock arrives, instead of lifting the car off the tracks, the tosses the car and is then promptly hit by the train. The engine is destroyed and the train derails as a result.
     
    Despite this, Ray invites Hancock over for a dinner and talks to him about his image, and offers to give him an image ‘makeover’ for saving his life.
     
    Of course this starts the whole chain of events that take Hancock from being public enemy number one next to the criminals to actually being needed and respected by the public.
     
    This is where we get to a problem (precieved problem from many other critics and viewers out there at any point). Once the movie hits mid way, it takes a turn in direction.
     
    The movie does indeed reveal Hancock’s origins, and why he is who and what he is. His character undergoes some serious soul searching and changes begin to take place (once again, things you will have seen in the trailer).
     
    I read other reviewers complain that this made no sense, the whole change of direction. Here’s a thought people, get a friggen clue! Get off your bloody blackberries and cells, stop talking to your neighbours while you’re watching the movie and pay freakin’ attention to what’s going on!
     
    This change explains the reasons why Hancock is a complete jerk! It explains who he is, where he came from and his motivations. It’s called Character development people!
     
    Now, if you were paying attention, you’d realize that the shift from comedy to drama is actually character development. Believe me, if we’d been left hanging without ever learning the reasons behind Hancock’s actions, or where he came from, there would be a heck of a lot more complaints!
     
    Oh, and even though there was drama, the comedy was still there.
     
    While I have it in my memory, there is quite the surprise for the viewers as well in the movie, one that certainly broadsided me, that I didn’t see coming. Very well done.
     
    Now, the acting was pretty good. Each actor played their particular role perfectly. Ray, portrayed by Jason Bateman was honest in his desire to change the world and help people. He was a very likeable character.
     
    Mary Embrey, his wife, portrayed by Charlize Theron was beautifully crafted. A woman who clearly loves her family and is a good person, but doesn’t want to have a super hero, especially one with Hancock’s reputation getting involved with her family.
     
    The special effects were sweet! Lots of Carnage (property damage, not physical). Hancock’s flying was believeable, as well as his amazing feats of strength and invulnerability.
     
    There was plenty of swearing, and liberal use of the term – well, you already know I don’t use that kind of language in my reviews, but its not THAT bad, not the F word at any rate. I wouldn’t be against allowing a pre-teen seeing this film.
     
    While I’m on that subject, no over-application of blood or un-necessary violence – although Hancock does follow through on one of his threats, to gales of laughter from the audience.
     
    The soundtrack was filled with too much modern Hip-hop for my liking, but I guess that was done to appeal to the younger members of the audience.
     
    Overall, it was a very enjoyable, a very fun film to watch. It allowed Will Smith to flex a different side of his acting that we’ve not seen all that often in his characters… sure, he was a drunk and didn’t give a damn about what people thought of him, but there was a deep underlying reason for this, and he portrayed it wonderfully.
     
    Watching his character transform through the movie was a true pleasure. I honestly hope that this is only the beginning of a franchise for Will Smith.
     
    4 out of 5
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