Hancock
You know when you're watching a movie and you zone out, but you're knocked back into the movie every now and then... and when you are, you feel as if you missed something important, or a good, solid scene in the movie? With Hancock, the entire first half of the movie is like that, but without needing to zone out. Hancock (Will Smith) is an alcoholic superhero with amnesia, and every time he tries to do something for the good of society, he ends up screwing up and making the situations even worse. But after Hancock saves the life of a failing public relations professional, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), Ray decides to try and turn Hancock's public persona around, even if it's against the wishes of Ray's wife, Mary (Charlize Theron).

That's about as best as I can describe the plot, even though the entire latter half of the movie has nothing to do with that. In fact, the second half of the movie is more of the consequences of what occurred in the first half... sort of. As I alluded to at the beginning of the review, I enjoyed the second half of the movie much more than the first half. The first half just lacked substance, meat, or heart, if you will. It just zipped through the plot like the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire shot through the first 200 pages of the book in 15 minutes. That's the best way I can describe it.

But I can't say, specifically, what I liked about the movie, because that gets into spoiler territory. So all I can really say is my favorite part of the movie all occurred in the second half (though it was alluded to a few times in the first half) and dealt with the superhero lore. I thought that was really creative/imaginative, and I really wished they had dealt more time of the movie on that, as well as the connection between two specific characters. Hopefully if the movie does well enough to garner a sequel, the sequel will do it there.

However, on a similar subject, the movie set itself up for the perfect villain, but then decided not to go that route. Instead, we get really surface-level, shallow villains with no real substance or... anything. They're just boring and non-special in every way.

The last real thing to complain about would be whoever the heck controlled the camera (or the director, if it was all his idea, which it most likely was). I'm rarely ever conscious of camera choices, but I could never get comfortable in the movie because of it. It liked to get right up in every character's face in a tight close up (usually used to give everybody a feel of claustrophobia), even if everybody was in a wide-open space. And there was an incredible preference for the zoom button and shaky-cam; as in, the camera would be shaking about like a Bourne movie, and then the cameraman would hit the zoom button so to, very noticeably, shoot in even more on an actor's face. I noticed it moreso in the first half of the movie than the second half, though. However, I loved the editing work for the climax of the movie, juxtaposing what was going on between Hancock and a certain other character. I thought that was brilliant.

Now on to some good stuff. As for the acting, it was done nicely all around the board. I can't say much more about it, really. The villains could have been better, as I stated, but I think that was more of a scripting issue than an acting issue (...at least for the most part). The visual effects were stunning, specifically in the second half of the movie with stormy weather fight and the climax battle. The movie was relatively funny, as I did laugh quite a few times. Though I did come off rather negatively in this review, I did enjoy it quite a bit. It was entertaining enough, though it could have been so much better with the potential it had. And they should have concentrated more on the superhero lore. In other words, I think the movie could have been helped by a longer time frame; perhaps another 30 minutes or more. Otherwise, it was pretty good.

Reviewed by: Nick
8 Comment(s)
Hopefully I didn't take the torch from either of you guys... I never got an email or anything, so I figured it'd be alright.
Shea said...
Ha... i just went and saw Wall E and realized this was out. I forgot thy shifted the date.

I will probably see this although my expectations are pretty low. Having skimmed the review. This director has a taste for the shaky cam. Checkout the Kingdom and Friday Night Lights.

* (asterisk) said...
I have so little interest in this movie, it's not even calculable. It just looks so dumb from the trailer.
Shea said...
I have mild interest only for the fact that I hear rumors that there are dark undertones. Dark superheroes? Anytime.

Also the whale getting tossed makes me laugh.
Andy said...
Yes...the whale...gets me every time.
Maybe I wouldn't have seen it coming if I hadn't already heard there was a twist, but I thought the twist was over the top, predictable and cheesy. And even though I like Will Smith and hate RDJ I would much rather hear RDJ's wise cracks. Smith just didn't pull it off for me... I wanted more flying whales and prison scenes... haha.
oh, and Shea... don't get your hopes up on the dark undertones... remember what happened with the purgatory Pirates of the Caribean scene? I didn't think this was any darker than Spiderman...
Adam said...
Yeah, I didn't even bother seeing this one - I had heard it was essentially like "I Am Legend" in the fact that the first hour was good with lots of potential, and then the second half of the movie fell to pieces.