MONKEY REVIEW: Hancock

July 3, 2008

As directed by Peter Berg, Hancock, Will Smith’s latest summer blockbuster, tends to be as strange, confused and obnoxious as its title character. Hancock is a modern day superhero living alone in Los Angeles, ageless, superstrong and impervious to injury. Being a heavy drinker and thus more than a little careless and temperamental, his attempts at crimefighting tend to do more harm than good in the eyes of most citizens, including the mayor and police chief, as they also cause excessive property damage and personal injury. After Hancock saves the life of a good-hearted PR man, Ray (Jason Bateman), Ray brings him home to have dinner with his wife Mary (Charlize Theron) and his son Aaron (Jae Head) and offers to rehabilitate his image so that people will love him instead of hate him. Hancock starts off in broad, low comedy mode, then switches to light satire before taking a left turn into dramatic territory. In the hands of a more subtle, witty director, this material might’ve made for something more satisfying and intriguing than what’s ended up on the screen, though Smith, Bateman and Theron do more than their share of selling the material as it is. Since none of Hancock‘s disparate parts ever really gel into a whole, it’s a movie that’s entertaining in fits and starts, with some standard summer blockbuster CGI sequences mostly involving more property destruction to no great effect. Some of the most interesting and tantalizing plot elements involving race and mythological connections appear as exposition, but then are just tossed aside and are frustratingly explored no further. All in all, I’m not sorry I saw Hancock, but then I’m not sure I can exactly recommend it to anyone, either.

MONKEY RATING: THREE MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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2 Responses to “MONKEY REVIEW: Hancock”

  1. patrick Says:

    Hancock looks like interesting spin on the latest craze for superhero movies… at least Will Smith tends to be pretty funny

  2. radiondn Says:

    Oh, Smith IS funny. Too often he’s better than the movies he’s in. The concept behind Hancock is pretty good, really, but the execution isn’t nearly as good. I enjoyed watching him act alongside Theron and Bateman, which was probably the main reason I liked the movie.


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