Here’s (hiccup) ‘Hancock’

Here’s (hiccup) ‘Hancock’

When is a superhero not so super? When he drinks too much and wrecks devastation whenever he saves the day.

It’s a brilliant premise for a subversive superhero film, and for a while Will Smith’s “Hancock” rolls with its own storyline. Then, it veers so far off course that you’ll forget the whole premise.

My Washington Times review breaks down the gear shifting, a seismic shift which apparently didn’t hurt its box office clout.

UPDATE: Smith’s box office clout is affirmed by Forbes Magazine. The erstwhile Fresh Prince is king of the world, Hollywood style.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

HeidiNo Gravatar July 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I couldn’t agree more with your Washington Times review. They needed Stan Lee or someone familiar with super heros to advise the writers. These writers failed miserably. In addition, if I ever have to look at one more extreme close up of Will Smith’s face, I may boycott the rest of Smith’s career and Berg’s too.


cftotoNo Gravatar July 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I usually love Will Smith’s performances in big-budget fare like this. But this one didn’t measure up to, say, his work in “I Am Legend.”

And yeah, it makes you appreciate the magic Stan Lee brought to his superhero stable.

FabianNo Gravatar July 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

I liked it. To compare it to Marvel stuff is very unfair because as far as I know IT NEVER CLAIMED that comparison. They did not need anybody as it went its own direction, and like most I’ve been reading marvel and DC comics for a long time and I appreciated this ‘fresh’ perspective.

I actually liked the shift. For me it was a breakdown between two acts. Act I – redemption. Act II – the why. Honestly, how long does he have to go into the movie to be redeemed into a superhero. Redeemed, lets move on to Act II.

I honestly do not know what people wanted to happen after the bank scene? What keep fighting regular bad guys?? CCCMMMOOONNNNN!!!

I liked Act II, it established a mythos and good idea for possible sequels. Also, if you are seriously going to use Stan Lee or others to bash this superhero thing, then you have obviously NEVER seen/read other comic hero’s origins.

Watch it, avoid the critics, I think they all got it wrong this time and when you watch it STOP comparing it to other superhero stuff. The comparisons are being made using the wrong factors.

cftotoNo Gravatar July 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm


Well said … I still disagree, but that’s why we’re online, right? I do think it took guts to go in the direction it did — I just thought it clashed with the first half of the film and didn’t make me eager to see a “Hancock 2.”

Yes, after a while it can be boring to see a superhero save the day again and again … but that could speak to our collective superhero burnout – there are a lot of them around these days.

Thanks for writing!

BlueMobiusNo Gravatar July 8, 2008 at 7:22 am

I agree with Fabian but want to throw something out there.

This was an origin story unlike anything we’ve seen and so to compare it to any other approach seems unfair. It felt like a very personal story and, if anything, I wish they would have spent more time delving into Hancock’s motivations before entering the home stretch. At ninety minutes, it felt that there was about thirty minutes missing. I almost never think it’s a bad thing when I am clamoring for more of a film unless I feel the film fell short. Hancock doesn’t fall short. If anything, it exceeded my expectations and was a better film than I had expected it to be. Plus, it was flat-out entertaining.

I’d like to see them take another risk and give us another look at the character.

Oh, and I love the conversation had at the carnival at the end. Those who have seen it know to what I’m referring.

cftotoNo Gravatar July 8, 2008 at 1:24 pm


Perhaps a second viewing will help me appreciate it more … the tonal shift jarred me too much the first time.

SusanNo Gravatar July 12, 2008 at 4:40 am

This review was better written than the movie. What a trainwreck the second half was. It’s like all the talented writers walked out or ran out of steam. Is Will losing his Mojo?

cftotoNo Gravatar July 12, 2008 at 5:06 am

Thanks, Susan … I think Will’s mojo kept the film from being a train wreck. The previous posters went with the surprise twist, but I think Will should have pulled the screenwriters’ aside and asked for a second-half rewrite.

JustinNo Gravatar July 13, 2008 at 4:37 am

kay, when I compare Hancock to other comic book characters, I almost feel as if it WOULD have made a good comic series! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m very critical when it comes to movies, but this one didn’t jar me one bit. I like the whole idea of “act I, Act II”. I saw it in “I Am Legend” and enjoyed it, and I saw it here and enjoyed it. I can see how it’s quick pace can shake a person up, but the fact is that I wouldn’t be defending a movie if I didn’t think it was good!

I mean, it’s no Ironman or Batman (the first ones with Tim Burton and “Batman Begins”), but it wasn’t a complete disaster. Does anybody remember “Batman & Robin”? COMPLETE disaster, with no possibility of enjoyment.

Not one of Will Smith’s best movies, but definitely far from his worst (and I use the term “worst” very loosely when talking about Will, because I don’t think he’s disappointed me once in a movie so far).

cftotoNo Gravatar July 13, 2008 at 4:43 am


I must say I’m not eager to see where the Hancock story goes next, even though I’m on board with pretty much every move Will Smith has made in recent years. He’s a fine actor who brings those skills to films which don’t necessarily need them. I remember watching the terrific “I, Robot” and thinking, “why is Smith working so hard to flesh out his character? It’s a big budget movie, the action and effects are what people came to see.” But he doesn’t work that way … he tries his hardest to make every performance special.

For me, that spirit still couldn’t lift “Hancock.” But you clearly aren’t alone in your thoughts. The film dropped only 45 percent or so this weekend, which is a pretty modest drop for a major film.

Jacquie KubinNo Gravatar November 27, 2008 at 4:52 am

Ahh, my friends. I am a fan of comic book movies. And personally know Stan Lee. And I enjoyed this “trainwreck.” But then I saw beyond the super hero antics to the emotional fault line that these characters each had. A lot of baggage tumbling around here. No, it was not classic movie telling. No it was not… The Dark Knight. Or X-men. It was not Independence Day. But it was a fun watch. My review… JK

cftotoNo Gravatar November 30, 2008 at 5:13 am

Name dropping alert! But mucho cool points for knowing Stan the Man.

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