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Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Hancock

Well, well, well, another Will Smith blockbuster. It has been a good year for superhero movies, certainly one of the recurring trends of this year, what with Hellboy II, Iron Man and of course, The Dark Knight. Even the weaker superhero movies, such as The Incredible Hulk and this current showing, Hancock, have shown great promise and flair in parts. Basic plotline for Hancock, is Will Smith is Hancock, not your ideal superhero, what with being an alcoholic and not really one for association with the public. One day, he saves the life of Jason Bateman's character, a public relations manager, and thus seeing Hancock's situation, sets it about his duty to change public opinion of Hancock for the better. Also involved is Charlize Theron as Jason Bateman's wife, of whom has become the figure of Hancock's infatuation. Now, the film starts very promisingly, establishing itself almost as a parody of the superhero genre. This is not your bog-standard superhero, and if the movie was to head down this way, then it would certainly have been a great film. For starters, Will Smith once again gives one of those performances that only he could pull off, playing the drunken slacker-hero with inventiveness and originality. Forever with his lips at the top of the whiskey bottle, this aspect of Will Smith's performance is superbly played. Also, in these scenes, the script is well-written and suits the character of Hancock well. These scenes, the ones which are put on display in the trailer would lead us to believe that this is going to be a wise deconstruction of the superhero genre, a satire of sorts. However, unfortunately like many movies which have a great concept/premise, it unfortunately does not continue to be consistent throughout. Peter Berg is a man who does not like to indulge in visual effects, and far prefers to bed himself in the comfort of realism. It is clear that once Hancock has gone through rehabilitation that by this stage, Berg is out the comfort zone that was established earlier in the beginning. He is quoted to have said, "Once the fight starts, you're very limited and you're at the mercy of your effects guys... unless they're really technically oriented... it's definitely the time we have the least amount of control as directors." Clearly early on he has tried to establish the realism and relatable superhero early on, like in many of the greater superhero movies of the year, except later on, with his quote almost favouring my argument, he has submitted himself to the producers and effects guys who say, "Fight scene, flying scene there." Here was a grumpy alcoholic man who was completely relatable to as a human being, except for the fact he was a superhero. With the transition throughout the film, Will Smith, The Fresh Prince himself, becomes about as relatable to humans as Brian Dennehy. Yes, even Will Smith loses his consistency. Then, the boring characters of Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron transform into being as boring as Vince Vaughn. Also, the script by this stage has just lost it and into same old, same old, dull, dull, dull. And who was the main villain again, who is merely another distraction lost in the mish-mash of subplot and general nonsense. I mean, you can even see Peter Berg in later stages trying to squeeze out every last bit of life out his realism, with close-ups of the characters preeminent throughout, only for any establishment to be destroyed by SMD's (Scenes of Mass Destruction). For what Hancock attempts to be, it is certainly admirable, and not a terrible movie. Starts off brilliantly, with something that I thought that I could genuinely enjoy, and then as the film progresses, it changes genre. It is no longer the wise, witty superhero parody cum deconstruction that was advertised as the alternative to all the superheros of the summer, becoming a straight superhero movie, except more boring. To finish off, Hancock suffers from what is poor structure, a script which all the more supports my belief in much of the film becoming dull, some bland, poorly established characters, direction which is essentially taken over by the effects guys. This is a movie which makes you believe the producers are pointing and laughing, "Ha ha, we got you." They have grabbed up our hard earned cash, duped us into believing what is essentially nonsense, and they expect us to go along with it. No, no, it ain't happening. As of now, the film is sitting on nearly $625 million dollars, and that they are planning a sequel. You know, that if the worse bits were whenever he goes straight (no pun intended, ba-boom), and if this is going to be the case throughout the entire sequel, that we ain't gonna buy it a second time. My recommendation, get back to the bottle Hancock. The real hero of the movie is Will Smith (duh), not for the role he gives, but for the money he makes, the highest box office earner in the world. Someone give that man an Oscar for being so damn good.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 5.6/10

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