Hancock (2008)

This the movie that will cause us to never bring Zane to a movie again until he’s older. This second time I missed the ending of the movie because Zane got antsy. Luckily, it wasn’t a movie that I wasn’t really into. (More about that later.) I could see Penny calling this is a decent popcorn movie, and I could see Jill liking it, too. Others might be mildly entertained, but I’m not confident to recommend it.

**
The film is about Hancock (Will Smith), a man who basically has the powers of superman. The difference is that he’s a jerk. That’s where Ray (Jason Bateman) comes in. He’s a struggling ad-man who Hancock saves one day. Ray feels like he understands Hancock, and wants to help him change his image.

***
The problem with this film has to do with the casting. I like Will Smith, partly because he’s so likeable. That’s the problem. He’s not convincing as a jerk. The same sort of thing happened with Jack Nicholson trying to play a vulnerable man lacking confidence in As Good as It Gets. Jason Bateman, another actor who I kinda like, also didn’t work in his role, mainly because the chemistry between he and Hancock just didn’t work for me. This film is more of a comedy than an action film and the comedy just didn’t work for me, primarily because of the leads. Now, I didnt see the ending of the film, so it’s hard for me to judge the film, but I don’t think the ending would have overcome the issues I mentioned above.

Mitchell
I saw Hancock last night and loved the first half, but hated the second half.

Don’t listen to Reid about the casting: It’s terrific. Smith as the surly, abrasive superhero with the small amount of vulnerability is well done. I know Smith is charming and charismatic, but he is totally capable of being a jerk. One of the songs on his Homebase album is called “You Saw My Blinker,” in which he repeatedly (angrily) says the line, “You saw my blinker, Bitch!” Anyway, I think the film doesn’t dwell on that because it agrees that Smith as a jerk is tough to buy.

Now, Jason Bateman is PERFECT in his role. He’s almost fully in his Michael Bluth mode from Arrested Development: Understated, ironic, able to interpret a moment quickly and identify its critical components. The Charlize Theron character says what we already have a pretty good sense about: He sees the good in people, even when it’s not there.

The best Bateman/Smith moments are when they’re close together, just talking to each other. Halfway through the film, I was going to declare this the best superhero movie ever. There is an obvious vulnerability, a neediness that Smith communicates mostly with his eyes. He does some solid acting in this first half, where his body language says one thing but his eyes and mouth say another.

We do not see this kind of interaction between the Charlize Theron character and ANYone else in the film. She’s fine with what she’s given, but the movie takes us away from an interesting character-development plot and into an action movie with NO real character development, and that’s where it falls flat. The first half of this movie is Men in Black. The second half is Men in Black II.

Reid
I’m glad Mitchell posted his comments. Personally, I like reading more comments about a film before I decide to see a film. I would guess other people would agree with Mitchell on this. If someone else sees this, let us know who was “right.”

Penny
I finally saw Hancock on Tuesday movie night (at Dole you get free popcorn and hot dogs are $1…awesome!) Anyway, I disagree with Reid (what a shocker). I liked this movie. Although it was like two different films slapped together, it still had enough to keep my attention and the pacing had a lot to do with that.

***Spoilers***

I agree with Mitchell about Smith’s performance. Really nuanced (esp. in the first half). What was hard for me was buying Mary’s relationship with Ray. Not because of Jason Bateman, but because of Charlize Theron. I could kind of see some chemistry between Mary and Hancock, but even that was a bit of a stretch. The second half of the movie is a bit hodge-podge, but unexpected (well, one thing is unexpected), but not enough for me not to have liked the movie overall.

Better than just a popcorn movie, thanks to Smith and Bateman.

Marc
I saw Hancock tonight and thought it was ok. Entertaining but not great.

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