Hancock DVD Review B-

Hancock movie poster courtesy Geekshow

With all the reviews Iíd read about Hancock (including some that gave away a pretty important plot point, thank you Mr. Reviewer, you know who you are) I wasnít entirely sure what to expect. In actuality, however it is a fairly enjoyable movie.

Will Smith is the title character,the quintessential anti-superhero. He just seems to mess up every time he tries to be heroic. A pretty good example would be the beached whale that he tries to return to the ocean, and ends up sinking a boat. One might say heís just not that good at being a super hero. And heís lonely. Heís the only one of his kind and half the city gets mad at him whenever he tries to do something, so, well, heís a little bit of an asshole.

Justin Bateman plays Ray, a PR guru whose life Hancock saves. Ray decides to make it his mission to turn Hancock around, and give the world the kind of superhero that theyíd always imagined. Charlize Theron is Rayís wife, who, like most of LA does not like Hancock. But Will Smith is playing him and who can hate Will Smith, right? Although he does grouch his way through every scene!

The Pros:
Itís actually refreshing to see superheroes that arenít perfect, and still have problems. Itís very subversive. As Ray gets Hancock to try and shape up, the results are even more hilarious. When this movie is fun, itís fun. Itís doesnít try to have these noble, grandiose ideas. It does a good job of asking ďwhat if these superheroes are just as messed up as the rest of us?Ē

The Cons:
However, as the story progresses and we learn more about Hancockís background the plot falters. At times, it felt like I didnít quite know what kind of movie I was watching. Was it supposed to be just stupid fun, or were we supposed to get behind the ideas in the movie? Weíre given just enough information about his background for it to not really make a whole lot of sense. The information we were given seems like a mish mash of ideas from a dozen other stories, not quite fitting together. And Iím not entirely satisfied with the ending either. It felt too abrupt to me.

Still, the FX were brilliant, and the entire cast did a great job in their roles. Uneven storytelling aside, this is a fun movie. The kind that I donít necessarily need to see again, but Iíd definitely watch a few minutes of it on TV. That said, if you are interested in the two disc unrated edition, you will find both cuts of the film. The differences in the films are fairly minor, however, and only make for an additional ten minutes. Extras are okay enough: Superhumans: The Making of Hancock is a standard ďmaking ofĒ documentary; Building a Better Hero looks at the work of effects master John Dykstra; while Mere Mortals: Behind the Scenes with Dirty Pete features an interview with director Peter Berg.

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