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â€œHancock, a hero for the rest of us.â€
Hancock is a super hero for the rest of us. And by us I mean those like me who never totally got into the comic book world or the Marvel Comic heroes who somehow never seemed relatable. There is always something very goody-goody about most superheroes that leave a bland taste in my movie mouth. Except for maybe Iron Man, they have no strut or attitude. I wanted a super hero like Shaft. One who does what is right but doesnâ€™t play by the rules. A super hero who has bad days and addictions and frustrations like the rest of us. Finally, Hancock is my sort of super hero.
John Hancock (Will Smith) is alone in a world of mortals who always need his help but at the same time constantly complain about his way of doing things. Never mind that he saves lives right and left and gets the band guys in the end. He is brash and crude and most of the time completely drunk. When Hancock is befriended by a public relations specialist named Ray (Jason Bateman) who wants to turn his image around, John has to learn to play by a new set of rules. Will the public embrace this new Hancock?
This film is full of action and wit and a comedic undertone that is grounded on the timing of Smith and Bateman. The story line is unique and fresh. When is the last time you saw the man of steel passed out drunk on a park bench? Hancock has a way of being endearing in spite of his hard outer shell. I have to admit, if I had to deal with the curse of super powers, immortality and being one of a kind; I have to be honest and say I would be more like Hancock than that mamby-pamby, web slinger, mamas boy. He is tired and wants to be left alone, but still has the inner pull to do what super heroes do. And that is to me the mark of a great hero. One who does what has to be done in spite of what he desires or the reward he gets for doing it.
The film also stars Charlize Theron as Rayâ€™s wife Mary. She has stood by her husband as he has tried to save the world the old fashioned way. But Ray is no Bono and has a hard time getting corporations to get on board with his plans. So when he latches on to Hancock, Mary is concerned that it is a loss cause and wants to just live her normal life. Theron holds her own with these two and is able to bring her strong dramatic nature to the world of action and humor. I liked her in this and feel that she rounded out the ensemble nicely.
This film looks and moves superbly. The flying scenes have a fluid motion about them that look like what you would expect a guy flying through the air to have. He is not rigid or solid but at times flailing around with dangling limbs. The action scenes are explosive. Nothing is left out or cut short in the direction by Peter Berg.
Hancock is rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language. It is a bit edgier than most marvel movies. As I mentioned Hancock is raw and full of bitterness. His language is crude and his manners not one to model after. But there is also a grand lesson in this film about acceptance, tolerance and embracing who you are. As a whole it is a redemptive movie and I think one that most action fans will love. It is by far my favorite super hero film in years. Iron Man gave me faith in super hero movie making and Hancock adds another chapter by creating a new superhero and one that stands strong without the marvel name and comic book legend. I give it 4.5 out of 5 Clark bars. Certainly a blast for your summer movie outing.
“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts a daily online talk show along with a weekend radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com”