Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Movie Review From The Entertainment Critic: Hancock

Movie Review: Hancock

The Entertainment Critic Movie Review

In Theatres Now Review
Opened July 2nd, 2008
By James Myers

Rating: 8 of 10

Director: Peter Berg

Writers (WGA):Vincent Ngo (written by) &
Vince Gilligan (written by)

Release Date: 2 July 2008 (USA)
Genre: Action Comedy Drama Fantasy more
Tagline: There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there's... more
Plot: A hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image.
Plot Keywords: Train Wreck Superhero Interracial Relationship Character Name In Title
Awards: 1 nomination more

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only)

Will Smith ... John Hancock

Charlize Theron ... Mary Embrey

Jason Bateman ... Ray Embrey

Jae Head ... Aaron Embrey

Eddie Marsan ... Red

David Mattey ... Man Mountain

Maetrix Fitten ... Matrix

Thomas Lennon ... Mike

Johnny Galecki ... Jeremy

Hayley Marie Norman ... Hottie
Dorothy Cecchi ... Woman in Dive Bar
Michelle Lemon ... Girl at Bus Bench
Akiva Goldsman ... Executive #1

Michael Mann ... Executive #2
Brad Leland ... Executive #3

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.
Runtime: 92 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1
Sound Mix: DTS SDDS Dolby Digital
Certification: South Korea:12 USA:PG-13 Ireland:12A Singapore: PG UK:12A Australia:M Malaysia: U
Filming Locations: 105 Freeway, Los Angeles, California, USA

The King of July 4th is back with a most unusual film about super heroes and public relations. Will Smith is Hancock, an alcoholic superhero who is despised by the public, down on his luck, and an irresponsible bum. Hancock saves the day while demolishing pavement, cars, hurting the people he intends to save, and in general racking up costs by the millions in damages as a result of his handiwork. Surly and unlovable, he opens the film drunk on a park bench. He then flies off to run down a trio of robbers on the freeway who is driving an O.J. looking van. To stop them, he places them atop the needle on the Capital Records building after smashing up several cars on the freeway. His public is not amused.

His next feat brings Ray Embrey, (Justin Bateman) into the picture as an unsuccessful public relations executive that Hancock saves from a train. Typical of Hancock, he flips Bateman in his car upside down and demolishes the train. Despite the difficulty, Ray offers to take Hancock under this PR wing to make him over as a more public friendly superhero. Hancock is an automatic hit with Ray’s son, Aaron (Jae Head), particularly after he scares the bejeesus out of the neighborhood bully. Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron) does not seen taken with her husband’s new client. Ray points out to Hancock that his exploits on You Tube that include him flipping a whale off of a beach and landing him on the only boat in the ocean, and knocking children down for an ice cream while scantly dressed have not helped his image. Then after a Nancy Grace tirade on television, Ray comes up with a brainstorm to restore Hancock’s image; Hancock must make amends publicly and report to jail.

Hancock makes his speech and reports to the pokey. His first encounter with the inmates is one of the funniest scenes in the movie, and maybe the most memorable. Ray is right; crime goes up and eventually, the authorities clamor for Hancock to be let out and to help them with a bank hold up. The new and improved Hancock wears a leather uniform, tells the cops they are doing “a good job,” and asks women if he has permission to touch them, even when they are under bullet fire. His handling of the head robber is another funny moment in the film.

The texture of the film changes from comedy to romantic drama when Hancock is attracted to Ray’s wife, Mary. I won’t spoil the plot here, but there is a major, major twist that comes out of no where; but in effect makes the film much more interesting than just the comedic ‘let’s fix the super guy’s manners.’ In the final, climatic scene, Hancock overcomes the 2 cons he disciplined in the joint, plus their new leader, the head bank robber. All ends well.

The film is carried by the trio of Smith, Bateman, and Theron. The script seemed to me that that film could not make up its mind to be a comedy or a romantic drama, but Smith’s star power keeps everything together. Peter Berg as the director seems to have kept a difficult project together. Considering that story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996 and had languished in Hollywood for some time, and that the project had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino, the film came out remarkably well. Hancock was originally intended to be filmed before I Am Legend, also starring Will Smith. Special effects were outstanding and underrated in this film.

The film was at its very best when it was trying to reform the crestfallen superhero and there are unresolved issues of origin and his strange ties to Theron that arise in the course of the picture. You also get the feeling at the end when Hancock takes his act to New York that there could be a sequel. All in all, Hancock is a good time. Smith somehow manages to pull the hodge-podge script together and in the end a more likeable Hancock is loved by the movie audience. There was open and loud applause by the audience in the early screening that I attended, largely made up of some members of the public and other movie critics. The King of the 4th of July has delivered once again for his public. Long live the king. This one is an entertaining summer effort, held together by superstar, Will Smith.

Movie Trailer:

1 comment:

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