Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hancock (2008) [PG-13] ***

As a super-hero, John Hancock (Will Smith) is a one-man catastrophe. He's an alcoholic with amnesia, who can't remember his life before awakening in a Miami hospital emergency room eighty years earlier (he doesn't age). He lacks any social graces, and when he apprehends the bad guys he typically destroys buildings, wrecks cars and tears up pavement in the process, often doing more damage than the bad guys did. As an example, while saving Ray (Jason Bateman) whose car was stuck on the train tracks with no escape and a freight train bearing down on him, Hancock totally destroys the freight train.

Ray is an eternal optimist; he has created the All Heart Foundation and is trying to find corporate donors. After Hancock saves his life, Ray gets the idea that he can rehabilitate the super-hero so the people of Los Angeles will love and appreciate him. Ray invites Hancock into his home to sell him on the idea, and when Hancock meets Ray's wife Mary (Charlize Theron), the two recognize a deep, primal connection, that none of the three were prepared for, and that will affect all of them more than they can possibly imagine.

The screenplay is reasonably inventive, although there's nothing particularly memorable about the dialog. What makes Hancock watchable is seeing Will Smith reprise his cynical, bad-boy, police detective role in the futuristic I, Robot, as well as observing the chemistry between Smith and Theron. If you enjoy super-hero action thrillers with equal parts of comedy and drama, as well as great special effects, films like Fantastic Four, Superman Returns, Transformers and Iron Man, then you will probably enjoy Hancock. Be advised, however, that the third act contains a fair amount of violence that some might consider simply gratituous.

Labels: action, comedy, crime, fantasy, flying
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 49/100
Tomatometer (critics=41, viewers=60)

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