Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Call Me An Asshole One More Time."

If the summer of 2008 has been anything for movies, it is the summer of the superhero. Beginning with Iron Man and running all the way to The Dark Knight, this summer has been chocked full of them. In the midst of all of these fan boy wet dreams with pre-established characters and retold stories comes an original superhero, something we haven't seen before. Will Smith stars in the only superhero film to not be made after a comic book this summer, Hancock.

Hancock (Will Smith) follows John Hancock (don't worry there is actually a reason for the name), a down on his luck superhero with a devil-may-care attitude. He is constantly helping the city, but all the while destroying it at the same time. We see Hancock fly through highway exit signs, throw beached whales, and total many cars throughout all 92 minutes. Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) is a PR exec who is one day saved by Hancock and decides to return the favor by getting the city to love him since he does rescue them on a regular basis.

What follows this interesting and entertaining premise is a film that doesn't know what it wants to be. We get hints of a comedy, but they never come to fruition. It seems that they wanted to make a dramatic action film but threw in some comedy at the last minute to put in the previews to get the families in the seats for The Fresh Prince.

The films first fifteen minutes hit the regular beats that a comedy would attempt to hit, but after the entry of Bateman's character and a convoluted subplot involving Charlize Theron, who plays Bateman's wife, we get thrown into a character drama with bits of comic like action.

Peter Berg's direction wouldn't even be considered competent. This film is so sophomoric in it's pacing and timing that it honestly feels like it was thrown together at the last minute. This is not a slight against Peter Berg, in general I think he is a competent if not good director who has potential to be something special. With Hancock, we get the look of a gritty, R-rated action film, along with terrible special effects and terrible acting from everyone but the three leads.

With that being said, the film isn't all terrible. It has it's moments and in the moments we see a film that could have been. If they would have chosen a direction to go in and used that style as a reference to what kind of film they are making, then maybe Hancock would have come out at least coherent.

The shining bits of this film mainly lie in Jason Bateman's performance. He does the best with what he's given and can be pretty on the ball when he needs to be.

There is one scene in this film that I thought was particularly effective in every aspect. The direction, the music, cinematography, the pacing, it all worked together near the end when we reach a climax of sorts. This climax was good, but definitely did not belong in this film. Not because it was good, but because it just didn't fit with the world that Berg creates throughout the rest of the film.

With Will Smith as a selling point, most people will see this no matter what the story is, but if there is an ounce of doubt in your body about this film, I assure you that it needs to be there and it needs to be much larger. This is probably the worst blockbuster to be released this summer, and on a lesser summer it might have actually gotten a better rating, but when films are being released weekly at the caliber that they have been this summer the weaker films weakness' show more often. This is the film that proves it.

1 comment:

KC said...

Kool review Shawn !! I wd call the director an Asshole for 1000 times and still wont be done with it !! He has spoiled a very good original script and Screwed Will from giving yet another summer blocbuster !!! Dont call him an asshole !! Call him a Shit hole !! That will be more appropriate for him !! :)