Friday, October 22, 2010
Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Vincent Ngo & Vince Gilligan
Cinematography By: Tobias A. Schliessler
Editors: Colby Parker Jr. & Paul Rubell
Production Design: Neil Spisak
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Johnny Gaelecki, Thomas Lennon, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Mann
(Warning this review is loaded with spoilers so if you want to be shocked and go in clean don’t read until after)
While this film is certainly entertaining the problem is once you really start thinking about it you realize major problems. Some may notice while watching the film outright.
Will smith is certainly great in this film an truly deserves a franchise picture at this point he is the perfect candidate to play a superhero this film I feel is a one shot deal
The premise has good ideas but as the movie goes along it goes off the tracks and then becomes another film altogether a more serious fantasy drama. The first half works as a parody or satire of superheroes and superhero movies. But the second half the movie all of a sudden becomes serious and downtrodden.
The major plot is Hancock is a superhero and alcoholic who the public dislikes after he saves the world’s only altruistic public relations executive. From death the public relations person decides to save Hancock’s image and career he has faith in him at first Hancock is reluctant but eventually comes around to cleaning up his image and trying to be good and stop feeling sorry for himself. As the movie goes we meet the pr guys family his son who idolizes Hancock and his wife who is strangely attracted to Hancock and vice versa will this lead to a betrayal of the pr person by the people he loves? Isn’t this supposed to be a super hero fantasy movie
The funniest scenes are the first half of the film the initial scene of saving the city and the scene of saving the pr guy and the pinnacle hilarious scene of the movie are the Hancock in prison scenes but after that it loses it’s mojo.
The humor strangely at some parts seems out there only to shock Kids and seniors cursing. Physically impossible sight gags, Pop culture racial humor. Bad language and surprising violence in a movie marketed for younger viewers. I’m no prude but think of it more as a warning for you parents out there
The chemistry between will smith and Charlize Theron is blazing the only problem is that it would be better served in a different movie it reminds one of the heat between Diane lane and Oliver Martinez in unfaithful only without the sex. It is telegraphed early that there is some kind of history between them because everytime they are in the same scene she keeps looking at him longingly and is uncomfortable around him for no reason which tips you off that later we will find out that they have a past somehow together
Another major unexplained or logical problem is that why all of a sudden when they start fighting does a tornado develop. I understand they are each other weaknesses but it’s not like earlier in the film when they fought or later in the film when they are together nothing happens there is no storms no electrical outlets going out no water drying up no sandstorm.
The next problem is if they are supposed to be gods who were made to be together for all eternity why are they each other’s weaknesses making there power null and void it just makes no sense
The next one is that this film is so concerned with showing more about character in the characters and finding about his past his origin story if you will that there is really no great villain or adversary for him to face it’s like a replay of the scene in superman 2 when he has given up his powers and he faces some redneck at a diner and experiences pain and his own blood for the first time the shock of it all but only this time he fights back. I guess they were saving it for sequels.
The things I do like are the handheld camera cinematography brings a certain realism into the fantasy. I like the idea of the problems a superhero would have in the real world when it comes to public opinion never being universal in favor or against. The property damage he can cause and people having to pay for it. It also shows the responsibility of having great power and what can be expected of you and the crisis of doing the right thing when it is so easy not to and get away with it.
There is a appearance by Donald Gibb who was ogar in the “Revenge Of The Nerds” films it’s been a long time but a happy welcome return. Unfortunately this film also has a uncredited script rewrite from akiva goldsman who is not the world’s favorite screenwriter who is known to usually destroy scripts he has personally rewritten or written (DaVinci Code, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, I am Legend)
He tends to defang or water down what is so great about the scripts or story in the first place he is like a televison censor almost. I can’t totally comment on what was changed to this script as I didn’t read the original but I did read a review of the original script which was much different and darker then what you see on screen.
The after credit sequences seemed to be added late just to add a little more memorable comedy into the last minutes because they seem so separate and awkward all at once it just comes out of nowhere maybe it would have worked earlier in the film like when he is trying to turn over a new leaf as a test of his new attitude but as it stands it just seems like a waste