July 7, 2008

REVIEW: Hancock

(Side note: Damn! This is like the 3rd almost-consecutive-were-it-not-for-some-things Sunday we've watched movies in the cinema house!)

Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was kind of psyched, and that was pretty much because it was actually a pretty unique superhero movie- and by unique I mean the superhero being a perfect asshole and a drinking bastard.

Anyway, the movie first starts out with Will Smith in character as John Hancock shredding road signs of Los Angeles and basically causing more turmoil than he reduces by recklessly cleaning up some bad guys in his own, "special" way. Of course, this doesn't set the tone for the rest of the movie, but I'll get into that later.

The focus then shifts on a man named, uhhh..., wait.


Oh yeah! Ray. He's a P(ublic) R(elations) guy who is trying to change the world by pitching about his charitable logo to some companies- and fails miserably. When he drives home, he gets stuck in traffic that reminds me of Recto during the holidays, and just when the traffic comes to a full jam does the unlucky guy get stuck in a railroad track. The thing is, a train's a-comin', and the only thing he could do is hope. This is where Hancock comes to his rescue, not by flying up holding the car, but by tipping the car nose-up and squash another car, and ram himself to the running train. Of course, this instead causes outrage to all the civilians, and that's because, once again, he causes more turmoil than he reduces.

Ray, however, actually thanks him, and wants to do him a favor- which is to change his image so that people can love and appreciate him.

Recommended by Father
So, this morning/hours ago, we went to church, and the presiding priest's homily suddenly turned to the movie Hancock which he watched in SM Baguio during a seminar. He recommended this movie to everyone and he even gave some really true, hard-hitting reasons as to why this is actually great for us. And that's because it teaches about giving love to others, because if one is not loved, he'll resort to alcohol, drugs and crime. He also pointed out that one should not judge a book by its cover, and that's because in this movie, everyone only looks at Hancock like he's a criminal who's not using his superpowers responsibly, but Ray, the PR guy, is able to see through that and look at the good inside him.

These points were compelling enough to convince my father and younger brother to watch it even though Father spoiled the whole movie ("Nawalan ng powers si Hancock"). We originally planned to watch Wanted, but then again, we had no choice when we found out it was, like, R-13- an age my brothers have yet to reach. And another thing is, the earliest time was in a THX theater (in Greenbelt, which is really good but really expensive) so we had no choice.

Not worth the premium for THX
The last time I watched a movie in a THX theater, it was X-Men 3. Because of the explosive sound did I actually like the relatively inferior film (when compared to its predecessors, helmed by a man called Bryan Singer who I like). But this one? Hmm... not really.

I mean, it does start out as a very promising film, but when Ray reaches his goal of changing Hancock's image, it starts getting a little... err, I don't really know what's the right word for this, but the word corny doesn't exactly do it much justice as it should've.

Yeah, Hancock's powers are really cool, and actually rather Superman-ish as well, but that doesn't exactly stop the film from getting out of your attention when the guy turns responsible and... conventional.

Near-end is a bit... eh?
A part of the film shocks the viewer a bit since it exposes a really unexpected secret (and the reason why there are too many close-ups of, well, you'll know who I mean). This fact then sets the foundation for the movie's near-end sequence as it throws you all this weird information in one shot that's hard to actually digest instantly. And because your attention gets lost by this part, you won't exactly get every bit of information a certain character throws at you. I mean, it's like, "What the hell? Why the hell? Huh? What are you saying?" kind of information overload that's, to reiterate, due to the fact that you lost your focus on the movie because it suddenly goes the conventional path.

Recycled Lines
I don't know, but maybe it was supposed to be, like, a catchphrase or something?

I was really irritated when Hancock kept saying, "Say that one more time." every time someone says asshole. I mean, it was funny the first time, but it isn't the second, third and fourth time around.

I got even more irritated when another unexpected person said the same thing when Hancock called the person names. I was like, "What the hell? Were the writers replaced with a really sucky set of writers after they filmed the part when Hancock was still an asshole?"

Tries to teach a lesson
Like what Father said, the film teaches about the attribute of being able to responsibly use a God-given gift or talent, and to not judge a book by its cover. Because, who knows? That guy may just need some love, is all. The lesson is not so goodly imparted, though, but those intelligent enough to see them is probably going to commend the film because it exerts efforts into teaching these lessons into a pretty unique, superhero package- a package that appeals to the demographic.

Mediocre, at best.
The film can probably be classified as one of Smith's misses. After a slew of hits that are actually above decent because of his acting chops, this one misses that line by a few miles. So yeah, it's a mediocre Smith film at best, but it's not exactly the worst film ever of the summer. It just needed some fine-tuning, and a better, seamless structure for the very promising plot. It could've blown everything else away, but in the end, it just disappoints.

Rating: 6.8/10 (Start is promising and unique, end is weak, poor and predictable.)

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