Hancock Review
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Like any big city, Los Angeles has its problems with crime. But, lately, the city’s crime fighter seems to be more of a problem than its crime rate. You see, Hancock (Will Smith), the city’s superhero isn’t exactly the conventional kind of superhero. He’s not the tights-wearing, world-saving kind of superhero that everyone loves. On the contrary, he’s a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed drunk who tends to destroy everything in his wake. And, in general, the people of Los Angeles hate him.

But then, one day, Hancock swoops down to save Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) from an oncoming train—and everything begins to change. Unlike everyone else in the city, Ray—a PR guy with a heart of gold—actually appreciates Hancock’s help. And he decides to repay the down-and-out superhero by helping him improve his image.

Had the rest of the movie been about Ray’s image makeover, Hancock would have been a great action-comedy—simple, yet irreverently hilarious. The concept is undeniably imaginative, and the film’s drunk and disorderly main character makes it a refreshingly quirky change of pace from the same old superhero movie.

Of course, it also comes as no big surprise that Smith is spectacular as the unconventional “hero” who threatens little kids and destroys tall buildings in a single bound. And Bateman couldn’t be better as the well-meaning PR guy who wants to change the world. In fact, after the first 45 minutes or so, I would have given Hancock a glowing review.

But, unfortunately, there’s more.

Apparently, someone read through the whole image-makeover synopsis and decided that it just wasn’t grand enough. After all, this is a multi-million-dollar blockbuster starring Will Smith—and it’s opening on Fourth of July weekend, no less! Clearly, a quirky and irreverent comedy just wasn’t good enough. So, over an over-priced lunch at some swanky Hollywood restaurant, someone decided that it needed to be bigger and bolder. It needed to be dramatic. It needed…a twist!

So, about halfway through the movie, the laughs are all but completely dumped to make way for an unexpected curveball that’s meant to kick the drama up a notch.

And it’s all downhill from there.

Now, I’ll admit that I was genuinely surprised by the film’s big twist; I definitely didn’t see it coming. But the fact that it’s surprising doesn’t make up for the fact that it ruins the rest of the movie. Instead of continuing along as a fun action-comedy, Hancock turns into a strangely twisted superhero drama, filled with confusing details and gaping plot holes. Sure, it’s more dramatic—but it’s also just plain heavy.

In the end, Hancock feels like two very different movies played back-to-back: a refreshingly offbeat blockbuster followed by its painfully disappointing sequel. If you choose to see it, save yourself the disappointment and walk out halfway through.

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