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Hancock (DVD)

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Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / Director: Peter Berg / Actors: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman ... / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    159 Reviews
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      22.07.2011 15:25
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      Unique deconstruction of the superhero movie, but second half lets it down.

      Now I'm quite the Will Smith fan, but even I will admit that he tends to play the same type of charismatic, slightly standoffish guy in many of his roles. Hancock isn't a real exception to this rule, but upon seeing the trailer it still got my attention- a superhero film but different from the norm, with an unlikeable main character that is encouraged to change his ways. I watched it not long after it came out at the cinema and soon got it on DVD. Still, while it's a good film, it has a couple of big flaws which I'll go into below.

      The plot is as follows: John Hancock (Will Smith) is a mysterious superhuman imbued with super strength, impenetrable skin and flight residing in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Hancock is far from the ideal superhero; as an alcoholic and all-round jerk his "heroic" actions cause huge amounts of building damage which he refuses to claim responsibility for in court, so consequently the general public are frustrated with him. One day Hancock saves the life of Ray Embry (Jason Bateman), an idealistic PR consultant who wishes to make Hancock a better superhero to the people. Hancock refuses at first while Ray's wife Mary (Charlize Theron) is equally unconvinced that he can change his ways, but eventually the superhero undergoes a prison sentence, a new look and a change in ethics to improve his image. And that's the movie in a nutshell...at first.

      If you've read any other review of 'Hancock' you'll know there's a huge plot twist and that's where the film goes wrong. Around the 60-minute mark the movie shifts from the action-comedy we were expecting to a dark, superhero-origins story. This sounds like something that would be great in a sequel/prequel but here it just seems rushed and padded out considering the main problem with the story- Hancock developing into the archetypal superhero- is solved relatively quickly.

      The acting all-round is decent though nothing special. As I said earlier, Smith is playing a more abrasive version of himself with superpowers, but his character is funny and has an interesting back-story revealed during the third act that explains who John Hancock is, and likewise with Theron as Mary whose hidden depths make her very appealing to the audience. Bateman does really well as Ray and I liked his occasional moments of wit especially when talking with Hancock, but emotionally I wasn't as attached to him as much as the other two main characters, while Eddie Marsan as the bank-robbing villain seemed both underused and pointless towards the end of the movie.

      I need to mention the special effects, which are excellent. Will Smith's flying is very realistic and the building/roads wreckage caused by his powers gives a real sense of his character's abilities and devil-may-care attitude. Soundtrack is okay although the only song I really remember from there is Ludacris's 'Move B**** (Get Out the Way)' and that's because it's at the start of the movie, but that song does perfectly fit Hancock's personality from what we first see of him.

      For the DVD itself, it has the usual extras: behind the scenes, interviews etc. There is also an unrated version cut of the film which has a couple more scenes which don't fit the '12' issued to the theatrical release, such as a scene where Hancock meets with a prostitute. I don't have any nitpicks with the box except that the blurb on the back slightly spoils the film when mentioning Theron's character.

      Despite the unexpected shift in tone I enjoyed each half of the movie for different reasons. The first half is genuinely funny in bits beyond that seen in the trailer. My favourite bit for instance is when Ray is trying to make Hancock say the words 'Good Job' as thanks to the police when he enters a crime scene, of which Hancock is extremely sceptical. The "spoiler" half, even if unexpected, got my attention because it had some good character development and went for a darker tone with a helpless Hancock. It's such a shame that the genre shift doesn't link together at all well within the same movie. Nevertheless, anyone wanting a good action or superhero movie should at least rent this for an evening treat.

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        23.10.2010 23:51
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        Superhero story for the grown-ups

        I saw this film when it came onto one of the movie channels recently, and having seen and heard very little about it, I was curious to know what it was about. I watched it with my family in the evening as it seemed like something we would all enjoy.

        Story

        When Ray Embrey gets stuck on a railway line in the middle of the rush hour traffic and is struggling to escape his car as a train hurtles towards him, hero John Hancock arrives to rescue him. With his immense strength he lifts the car out of the way and saves Ray's life, but although strong his clumsy and inconsiderate ways cause all the other drivers to get annoyed. The car lands on another driver's car and in the process of moving the car out of the way, he halts the train and causes all the carriages to pile up. Greatly appreciative of having his life saved, Ray, who works in public relations, decides that perhaps he can help Hancock to improve his image. However, when he invites him home for dinner, his suspicious wife offers rather a cool reception. Mary seems to think that Hancock will only cause trouble, but can Ray bring out the good man from behind the guise of alcoholism and rudeness?

        The story was interesting and at times did make me laugh out loud, but at times I felt a little confused by what kind of movie I was actually supposed to be watching. I had never seen any trailers or heard anything about this film, other than having seen a poster advert of a very serious-looking Will Smith when it came out originally. Frankly I had no idea he played a superhero or if it is meant to be a funny film and in fact having watched the film I would not call it a comedy because the moments of humour are too brief and short-lived. At times I thought this was meant to be more of a drama, but this would have been awkward viewing. There is a scene, for instance, where we witness Will's secret alcohol problem at the dinner table in the presence of Ray's son. Suddenly the whole mood drops dramatically and this just did not fit with laughing at his clumsy manners. He makes very rude remarks as well in front of the child and in both cases I wonder if the makers intended this to be funny but actually it is a bit upsetting and almost put me off. It does get lighter, however, and I saw these as more minor blips that hopefully would not ruin the whole film.

        I think this film tries to be too much, by cramming in too many themes and not wanting to compromise quantity for the sake of quality. The result is not great. Rather than having something to offer every audience, this film seems to have too many things that can potentially dissuade viewers from seeing this film. It is a shame, really, because overall it is not a bad film, and with tense, high energy, moving and funny scenes, any part could have been great, but as a whole it simply is not.

        Then the film gets about halfway through and seems to suddenly take a very sharp turn, which, at its pace is far too much and sends the whole story crashing out of control. The film is still watchable, but it all gets a bit silly (I won't say why as this is quite a spoiler) in spite of this being a superhero film already. I don't think we really have time to come to terms with what is happening before the story continues and so I found myself wondering if the main protagonists have all gone completely mad. It is at this point that many will decide they do not like the film after all, but if you can see past the ridiculous way the story is going then the entertainment value remains equally good.

        Acting/Characters

        Will Smith is great and he knows it. In this film that is no less the case. So as you might expect, this is really a Will Smith film in the way that Pirates of the Caribbean was a Johnny Depp film. Unfortunately some of Will's very good acting is probably what will spoil the film, because he is on a much deeper level than most of the characters in the film, perhaps with the exception of Charlize Theron, who plays Ray's wife Mary. Theron's character seems very vague to begin with but we can sense almost immediately an unnatural tension that makes you think that there is more to her story and this can be rather confusing. Somehow her character develops unnaturally and although well acted, perhaps more due to the story itself, it was not a convincing character at all. Her relationship with Ray Embrey seems weak as she is on a much deeper level and really it is hard to see how they have any chemistry at all.

        I would not say that Jason Bateman is a bland or dull actor, but just that he fits that Mr Nice-Guy image with very little emotional effect. I don't think the film as a whole should have been on an intense level and so actually his acting seems appropriate, but just a bit too simple alongside Will Smith. I suppose we are supposed to see Ray Embrey as a sideline support character, yet it seems unlikely that he would always be happy to accept that position just because he works in PR!

        The bad guys of the film were quite effective with some ironic humour and not being too childish. Again keeping it simple worked well with the style of the film and caused less confusion but was an unfortunate contrast to Will Smith. The notable thing about these villains that makes them seem more realistic, though, is their humanity. They do not have any superpowers themselves but whilst they are fairly ruthless, we can also see that they are not the clear-cut good and evil type villains but rather a handful of arrogant criminals causing trouble. This makes more sense than someone attempting world domination with the use of a new bizarre invention or superpower, and brings the film back down to earth. As such, the likes of Eddie Marsan and dodgy duo David Mattey and Maetrix Fitten portrayed something a bit more convincing for an older audience.

        Film qualities

        There are some impressive graphics in this film, and unlike many recent action films, the more dramatic scenes seem more naturally realistic and less CGI'd. I was particularly impressed by the attention to detail during a fight scene and the way that everything around the characters seems to shatter so elaborately and yet you are not drawn too far from the action.The only trouble is that it is all a little fast-moving so you find your eyes darting about to keep up with what is happening and surprised when the action all seems to be spiralling out of control so quickly. At least we don't get bored!

        The soundtrack has an urban feel to it with some worldly sounds and touches of hip-hop. However, as a whole it is not particularly upbeat and adds to my impression of this film as more of a drama than a comedy. The mood that it sets is often tense and I think it ought to have been a little lighter. Perhaps they did not want to give the film too much of a childish sound to it.

        Classification

        This film is rated 12A. There's a fair bit of strong and offensive language and also the film does deal with social issues like alcoholism and violence. More notably, there are some quite violent action scenes with shooting and explosions. I think part of where this all gets confusing is that with both the presence of a minor as a main character and a superhero storyline we could be forgiven for thinking this was a kid's film when it is surely not meant to be.

        Conclusion

        I have to admit that I am quite keen on Will Smith as an actor and he did not disappoint me in this film. However that is probably the main reason I enjoyed this film. The action scenes were quite good and the story not uninteresting, but the tricky mix of genres and acting simply do not work and so this film is not as enjoyable as it could have been. Without a doubt there are twists to the film, and in particular there is a major twist at the centre of the story that simply does not work and left me feeling less than pleased. However, it is something different and I can see where the writers were coming from. If you are able to watch without getting too frustrated there's enough going on to keep the pace and entertainment going. I enjoyed the film but it has left no memorable effect on me.

        Personally I didn't mind seeing the film but will not be in any rush to see it again. I wouldn't really recommend renting or buying the DVD as it is just not that great and not worth spending money on, but if it comes on telly at a good time, you might like it. So, in all an average-value film to occupy a couple of hours you need to waste, but not recommended otherwise.

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          08.06.2010 15:39
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          A film that I would recommend, but not a favourite

          Plot summary:

          The film is focused around a character called Hancock. He is a man with superpowers, but a seriously bad attitude; saving lives, while causing millions of dollars worth of damage. He saves the life of Ray (Jason Bateman- 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium') who in turn uses his job in public relations to give Hancock a better public image; that of a superhero.

          There is a big twist in the plot which comes as a surprise, but I cannot explain more without giving too much away for those who haven't watched it.

          My opinion:
          I definitely enjoyed this film, it was a good action film, and for Will Smith another top performance. There were also a few phrases from it that my family enjoyed repeating, such as 'Good Jarb!' (Job). I also liked seeing the troubled side to a superhero.

          However I felt that the film was a little dragged out, just when I was expected it to come to a conclusion they threw something else in, and at times it felt as though the film was being pulled through on Smith's acting alone.

          Another flaw in the film was the lack of a good villain; he wasn't scary enough and there wasn't enough of a relationship formed between him and Hancock.

          Despite these failings I would say that Hancock in a good film and well worth a watch.

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            28.04.2010 20:34
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            Superhero film with a difference

            Hancock is a action/ comedy superhero film that was released in 2008. The film is 1 hour and 28 minutes long with a 12 classification due to violence, strong language and crude humour. Hancock had a budget of $150 million and went on to make over $630 million worldwide.

            Plot
            John Hancock is a superhero unlike any you have ever seen. Along with superhuman strength, the ability to fly and immortality (amongst other things) he is also a pretty mean drunk. Even though he does really try to help people and stop crimes, he ends up causing millions of dollars of damage which doesn't impress the LAPD at all.

            Ray Embrey is a struggling public relations guy and after a pitch to a big firm doesn't go well, his car manages to get stuck in the middle of a train track in traffic. The cars are backed up and can't move but Hancock comes to the rescue. While the crowd get angry for him causing more damage than anything else, Ray reminds them that he would have been killed if it wasn't for Hancock.

            Determined to pay Hancock back for saving his life, Ray offers to save his personal image and get the public to not only like him, but appreciate his skills as a hero. In order to show the city how much Hancock is needed, Ray talks him into going to prison for a while to make up for the damage he has caused. While in prison, the crime rate goes up by a lot and finally, the LAPD ask for his help with a bank robbery that they can't control.

            While LA begins to change their minds about Hancock, Ray's wife, Mary seems to have something against him and thinks of him as a lost cause and it seems like she's the only person who will not change their minds about him.

            Cast
            Will Smith - John Hancock
            Jason Bateman - Ray Embrey
            Charlize Theron - Mary Embrey
            Eddie Marsan - Kenneth 'Red' Parker Jr.

            There are no special features included on this DVD.

            My Opinion
            I put off watching this film for a long time and now, after seeing it, I have no idea why I did. I absolutely loved it and it was not at all what I was expecting. I'm not really sure as to why Hancock got mixed reviews but I was really happy to watch a superhero movie that broke the mould of the likes of X Men etc. My main problem with this film is that it wasn't long enough. At just under and hour and a half, it seemed like something more should have been added to justify all of the different things that were going on. It would be really hard to place this into one genre and there is a mix of action, romance, comedy and superhero stuff going on.

            As the DVD case says, this film really is Will Smith at his best. I have never seen one of his films where his performance has been disappointing. Although he doesn't say a lot to start with, the idea that he hates the world and everyone in it comes across quite clearly, even though he still saves people. I loved that he was mean and grumpy a lot of the time. The actions of his character don't give too much away about where he is from or what he is until quite far into the film which kept the surprise and suspense going.

            The supporting cast were also just as good. Theron was completely believable as Ray's wife, Mary. I could tell there was something else going on with her as soon as Hancock came to their house but I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on until it was made clear to the audience. The only thing I didn't really understand was a sudden change in her character which didn't seem to fit very well.

            Overall, Hancock is a thoroughly enjoyable film and I've recently read that there may be a sequel but I cant say that I think it will be any good. Films like this should be left alone to stand out without being brought down by a terrible sequel.

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              17.04.2010 12:03
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              This should have been so much better than it was.

              This had an interesting idea, which was what happens when a superhero is really just a lost soul who wants to be loved, and in not being loved instead causes trouble. The problem is it soon becomes a little clichéd, and relies heavily on Will Smith to pull it through. It's really very average. Will Smith is on good form, as always, but overall this is still an average film that does little for the whole superhero idea. Indeed, try comparing this to The Dark Knight, and the Dark Knight beats this hands down.
              The plot revolves around the title character, Hancock (Will Smith), who is a superhero with a seriously bad attitude. He saves Jason Bateman, who is turns tries to turn Hancock's public image around, thus turning him into a good superhero who can save people, rather than someone who just causes trouble all the time. He then meets Charlize Theron, who he discovers is like him, but is no longer interested in being a superhero. Turning back to himself, Hancock continues to try hard to redeem himself, and in the end does when he saves his friend, and moves away from Charlize Theron to protect her (possible paving the way for a sequel).
              The main problem with this film is that there is no central villain who Hancock fights against. The idea of a reforming superhero was a brilliant one, but the lack of a villain and a clear through line to lead to a dramatic ending makes this a good film to watch, but only if you haven't got something better to do. Will Smith is relied on too much in this film to carry it, and really needed a villain to fight, rather than just small criminals.

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                22.02.2010 14:21
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                Watch this one now

                I actually didn't have any interest in seeing this movie, but it was on whilst I waiting in a tattoo studio, and I can happily say I actually enjoyed it.

                I don't want to give too much away on this film, but the basics of the story are that Hancock is a "superhero" who dosen't want to help the people, instead he just drinks and causes chaos, but this all changes when he saves the life of one man, who decides to make it his mission to change to Hancock into a decent, helpful, law abiding superhero.

                I found this film to be quite captivating, as it kept my interest the whole way through. I didn't find a single bit boring! There are some very funny moments, and also a good few things that will surprise you, some of them really shocked me, I truly was not expecting that. Look out for the annoying french kid, what happens to him is a proper laugh.

                This film is acted out really well, with a great performance from Will Smith as Hancock, full of emotion as well as laughs. All the actors in this movie play their parts really well, I actually can't fault this film at all.
                I recommend this film to anyone, as it really is one of the greatest films I have seen lately, and I actually bought it from Amazon as soon as I got home that day.

                You can buy this on Amazon for £3.98 at the moment, so not only is it a great film, but a great price too.

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                  20.02.2010 20:39
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                  The story of a modern superhero

                  I love the idea of superheroes especially within this film with the idea that superheroes and real and are around in life.
                  I really liked the idea of the bad superhero going good which was the case with hancock. Hancock being the alcoholic down and out person with superpowers not knowing how he got them or anything about his life other than the past 80 years. This all changes when he meets the character played by jason bateman. His wife is secretly a superhero trying to lead a normal life with Ray (jason bateman) and his child from another relationship.
                  They seem like the perfect family until Hancock comes along and they find out about Marys (charlize theron) secret. It turns out that the two were married 200 years ago and that they were made in a pair so that they are attracted to each other. But when they are together they lose their powers and die.
                  I really like the bit where hancock is placed in a prision and the fact that he stays in there even though it is so easy for him to leave. The bit where a ball accidently gets chucked out of the walls of the prision and hancock flys over the wall and thinks about leaving but he knows its best just to stay there until he's needed

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                    03.02.2010 00:11
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                    Overall a very different type of super hero movie

                    I watched Hancock the other night on DVD as had been wanting to see it for a while now as I like most movies that Will Smith appears in. I've also seen a fair few comic book hero or super hero films as well in recent years. I thought that this would have more humour than most with Will Smith in the lead role and I wasn't disappointed.

                    Will Smith plays a super hero in this movie with a twist. He is really a layabout and alchoholic who hates everything about life and doesn't know why he is so different from anyone else so he is an unlikely hero. However, he still goes out there everyday to fight crimes.

                    This is very different to all other superhero movies in that everyone knows who Hancock is and he has no hidden identity like Batman, Superman and the rest. He doesn't care less what anyone thinks of him and because he is a superhero no-one can hurt him anyway. He also has no family as far as he is aware, or if he does he doesn't know where they are or care and vice versa.

                    Therefore, strangely enough, as he has no costume he changes into he flies about from place to place like a hobo and looking dirty and often unshaven. In addition when Hancock fights crime he does so without any care for what damage he may do as a result, which he does on a regular basis. This reminds me of Team America in a sense where in doing good they cause more damage than the terrorists for example!

                    There is of course a love interest along the way in this movie, this time in the form of Charlize Theron and between her and a public relations specialist they try to get Hancock to change his ways and become a real superhero people can be proud of. This may be easier said than done..

                    I really enjoyed this movie for a few reasons. It was nice to see a superhero with a bit of a difference to all the others and also with more humour which Will Smith delivers in spades. The special effects too are fantastic and the story moves along at a nice pace that keeps you interested throughout.

                    As fans of Will Smith will know he has a really dry sense of humour and he used this well in this movie as his character. Despite his apparent lack of interest in life I still felt like I warmed to his character and felt for him. He kept the storyline going pretty well from start to finish and provided alot of laughs.

                    Another benefit was that there was not much violence and when there was it was kept to a minimum with no bloody scenes or gore. Plus, there is not much swearing so this really is a film for more people to enjoy without causing offence.

                    This is more of a spoof of super hero movies than actually a superhero movie I guess but it is still pretty enjoyable and worth watching.

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                    16.01.2010 12:03
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                    Watch it!

                    Hancock is a homeless superhero and while he is saving or stopping one problem he somehow creates worse problems. When Hancock saves PR man Ray`s life he tries to change people perception of Hancock and make them think that he actually is a good guy. Ray`s wife Mary (Charlize Theron) also has an interesting role in the story.

                    Hancock is different to the usual superhero as he is drunk and homeless and the film is also a bit different from most other things I have watched. Hancock is played by Will Smith who plays his role quite well actually. The idea of the film is really good actually but the plot in the second half of the film is so weird and bad it sorts of drags the film down. However I also quite like this as it makes the film different.

                    The film is simple and easy to watch and does not require lots of thinking! The special effects are also pretty good in this film and look pretty cool. For example where Hancock flies or where he throws a French bully up into space!

                    The acting is all pretty good in my opinion and there is nothing really wrong with it! However I think the problem is the second half of the film where it all turns a bit weird and the plot is quite bad.

                    Overall this is still a decent film and I would recommend watching it and I like the fact it is a little bit different however the second half of the film drags it down. The acting is pretty good and there are some quite big stars in this film. The film did well commercially but that was mainly due to Will Smith being in the film.

                    This review may also appear on other websites under the names ns1209 and mariofan123.

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                      14.01.2010 03:49
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                      runs out of steam very early on on the last 2/3rds drag

                      This film stars Will Smith as a washed out superhero who seems to have more interest in seeking solace in a drink rather than saving peoples lives. In the opening few scenes we see the how ineffectual he actually is when he fumbles an attempt to stop some villains, seemingly causing more damage than good.

                      Things change though for him after a chance encounter with a stranger, played by Jason Bateman, who is some sort of marketing guru/pr man. As such Hancock is introduced to this mans family, most notably this wife played by Charlise Theron.

                      From this point on in the film Hancock, who in actual fact is an amnesiac begins to learn more about his past than he can stomach. This is when we see things get dangerous for him and the villain of the piece, Andy "Gollum" Serkis causes the biggest threat to hi continued existence. The details regarding his past are what cause the greatest interest in the plot and his success hinges on him coming to terms with this.

                      I enjoyed the first third of this film because I liked the idea of an anti-superhero. unfortunately it becomes soft in places and I got very bored of the plot quickly. It has a twist but its not enough to keep one interested. Or at least you don't feel enough for the plight of the characters within to actually care.

                      Still its full of gimmicks and Will Smiths hat would not be a bad fashion accessory.

                      Apart from that though this is fairly luke warm and only just watchable.

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                      08.01.2010 11:40
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                      Plenty of drama and comedy.

                      This film stars Will Smith as John Hancock a sloppy, alcoholic, couldn't care less superhero who when he can be bothered fighting crime causes millions in damages to property. But one day he saves the life of PR guru Ray (played by the fabulous Jason Bateman) from an oncoming train, Ray is so grateful and never one to miss an opportunity thinks he can turn this around for Hancock and improve his image in the world. This starts with Hancock turning himself in a going to jail for all his lawless behavior, the idea being that once he is in prison crime rates will rise dramatically and the public and authorities will demand him back on his superhero beat.

                      Mary, Ray's wife is very apprehensive about Ray getting involved with Hancock and tries to persuade him to stop this foolish plan. Mary is played by Charlize Theron who really comes in to her own in the second half of the film, don't want to spoil it for anyone out there so won't reveal why. The second half of the film explains why Hancock is the way he is and has plenty of dramatic turns to keep you interested and entertained including a nemesis of Hancock returning to spoil the party. I don't want to give any plot spoilers away as it adds to the film.

                      Hancock isn't the best movie I have ever seen by a long shot but it is an entertaining one that keeps you interested throughout with lots twists and turns, a good dollop of comedy and some drama. The three main stars are all excellent and play their parts well, really carrying the film to be better than it should be. The film runs for 88 minutes which is just about the right time without too much padding.

                      The DVD can be purchased from Amazon for £3.98 and its rrp is £19.99.

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                      21.11.2009 19:20
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                      Its a good laugh and not so serious

                      Hancock

                      Year: 2008
                      Directed by: Peter Berg
                      Written by: Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan

                      Starring:
                      Will Smith
                      Charlize Theron
                      Jason Bateman

                      Storyline:
                      Hancock (Will Smith) seems to be just an everyday superhero who has super strength, can fly and can pretty much take anything thrown at him, whether it's a bullet or a building. Although the one difference is he seems to have a grudge with the world. Whilst he could be the most helpful citizen in Los Angeles, instead he is a clumsy alcoholic not feeling he has to prove a thing to anyone. After saving many lives in his time, he adds up the costs to the city for the damages he causes, usually in the millions of dollars. Many people don't see the point in him even helping out due to the damages he creates apart from one man who has his life saved.
                      Ray Embray (Jason Bateman) is in PR relations and after realizing he would not be alive without Hancock he decides he can try and turn his image around. After inviting Hancock back to his home for dinner he discusses the idea of making the city once again love Hancock. Whilst he battles along trying to give Hancock a better outlook on life and a better image to the people, Rays wife Mary (Charlize Theron) doesn't like him being around. It's only a matter of time before something can be said.

                      Will Smith once again brings out the humor in the film. The sarcasm in his script makes it a very delightful and fun film to watch with the added comedy. He can pull off the superhero sketch rather well and even better pulls off the arrogant person his meant to be. From a homeless superhero he uses good character to work his way back up again.

                      The special effects in the film are a great laugh more than serious. Scenes such as the famous Walter the Grey Whale who gets put back into sea by Hancock are pure comedy making it a great film for the family. The special effects such as flying also are done perfectly with Will Smith adding to the character of flying whilst drunk and not being able to land.

                      Overall the film is a good laugh when you're watching it, although it does tend to get more serious towards the end. The script seems to be going everywhere from the middle onwards, but the action happily makes up for this. It's worth going to see.

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                        17.11.2009 16:20
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                        An interesting failure

                        Hancock is a 2008 action comedy, directed by Peter Berg and starring Will Smith and Charlize Theron.

                        The story posits the idea of a superhuman, in this case Hancock (Smith), living in the real world. He is a drunk who, whilst attempting to do good deeds, doesn't give much thought to the normal people around him. As a result he often causes a lot of property damage and is viewed with suspicion by some and hatred by others. After he is saved by Hancock, PR rep Ray Embrey (Arrested Development's Jason Bateman) takes it upon himself to improve the public image of Hancock and help him become a proper superhero. Ray's wife, Mary (Theron) reacts cooly to Hancock being around her and their son. It soon becomes apparent that Mary has some secrets of her own and may be able to answer the question as to why the immortal Hancock can't remember anything before 80 years ago.

                        Peter Berg, marginally better known as an actor than a director, follows up the Middle East set thriller The Kingdom with this interesting, but at times unsatisfying, action comedy. Using a gritty, almost documentary camera style, he manages to direct the action sequences well whilst also getting a decent performance from Smith as the disillusioned Hancock which shows he's able to handle A list stars and big budgets. He also handles the humour of the situation well as Hancock reacts inappropriately to the people around him. For the first hour, whilst we're dealing with Hancock learning to act more responsibly in public and come to terms with the effects his actions have, it is a very interesting film. Where Berg falls down is reverting to standard superhero film fare for the final half an hour and having a villain who carries no real threat. It's known that the film had originally been written as a much darker story called Tonight, He Comes and it's obvious from that last half an hour is down to rewrites to try and appeal to mainstream audiences. Also, Hancock's origins are very poorly explained as though the makers wanted to give him an origin that hadn't been used by comics before but couldn't think of anything worthwhile and came up with the idea as an afterthought. It's a shame because there's 2 thirds of a good film here.

                        Smith is quite a versatile actor and here provides some pathos for the character who doesn't remember his history and who is disliked by everyone. He rarely cracks any gags and when he does it's with a dry delivery in keeping with his character. Theron's character is fairly bland, even when her "secret" is revealed, she's not really given a lot to do. Bateman provides a likable down to earth character, exasperated at trying to keep Hancock under control, It's good to see him a mainstream role.

                        Hancock is a brave attempt to establish a superhero without the fanbase already afforded those from comic books, but whilst there is a lot to like about this film a bit more thought into the character and his origins would have gone a long way.

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                        04.10.2009 22:51
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                        an alternative superhero movie

                        Hancock is an action/comedy film which was released in 2008. It stars Will Smith an an alternative superhero called Hancock.

                        Hancock has the skills and powers that you would expect of your average superhero. He has super human strength, can fly and is invincible. However, he has a drinking problem, and this is one of many factors which lead him to mess up every time he tries to save the day. The damage he causes trying to do good costs the city of Los Angeles more than it can afford. By chance he saves Ray's life, a public relations man who decides to help out Hancock with his image. When the city declare a warrant for Hancock's arrest, Ray suggests that he goes to spend some time in prison. Whilst he's in there Ray coaches him on how to be a better super hero. Pretty soon the city is asking for Hancock's help when they are faced with a situation that's out of there control. Hancock begins to be loved by the city when he seems to discover someone who has the same powers as him. He wants to find out what he is, and fill the gaps in his memory, as all he can remember is waking up in a hospital 80 years ago with nothing but a cinema ticket.

                        Whilst this movie got mixed views i think it's a pretty decent alternative super hero movie. After such a load of super hero action films coming out I think it was time for Hollywood to break the mould a little, we certainly don't need just more of the same. But this film is quite a mixed bag. It's funny in places, but not a straight up comedy, there's a lot of action, but you cant just call it an action film, of course it's a super hero movie, and there's a bit of a love story there too. There's no problem putting all these genres into one film but I'm not sure that this one is long enough to support everything going on at once. It's not terribly long, and I think it could have done with been a bit longer so that the plot would have time to develop.

                        I personally think that Will Smith is fabulous in this, as always. He has 'moody' down to a t and although his character doesn't give much away with words his mannerisms and acting really shine through, he's created a personality that absolutely fits the bill. Hancock isn't a 'nice' character, but he's still likeable, and you do find yourself sympathising with him. Charlize Theron who co-stars is also pretty good in this film, she's not too over the top nor obvious and i think her acting is subtle and precise.

                        I think that Hancock is an all round enjoyable film to watch. You don't have to over think yourself, you can chill out and relax and watch a fast paced, funny action movie that has some pretty great acting. I think the world needs films like this, not everything can be in-depth and thought provoking. But there does feel like something is missing in Hancock, like they're left part of the story out to make the film faster. Perhaps it's because the audience feels like that want to know more about Hancock than we're told, but I think that when the plot does begin to unravel it comes too quickly and then stops too bluntly.

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                          20.09.2009 19:52
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                          decent if unspectacular light entertainment

                          Hancock stars Will Smith as an emotionally crippled, alcoholic superhero with a serious image problem- whilst he tries to use his powers of flight and impossible strength to aid the people of his native city he always manages to cause immense destruction in the process, and is seen more as a menace than a hero. This anti-hero premise is well done and allows for some very entertaining comedic set-pieces, helped along nicely by Hancock's sharp and ascerbic one-liners and some solid timing and delivery by Smith, whose character is at once genuinely pitiful and darkly humourous, to begin with at least. Smith does a great job of painting Hanckock as a suicidally destructive character living a nihilistic and empty life from one liquor bottle to the next, but when the film actually discloses the reasons for this emptiness they are not nearly enough to justify his crushing misery.

                          Hancock rescues a charity worker/PR executive named Ray when his car becomes stuck on a railway track, and Ray then takes it upon himself to 'reinvent' Hancock in the eyes of the public, convincing the depressed superhero him to go into prison and rehabilitation in an attempt to make a fresh start. Ray manages to come across as the worst kind of do-gooder however, seeming like little more than a parasite as he uses his association to Hancock to try and get his charity operation off the ground, and I spent most of the film wishing Hancock would come to his senses and smash Ray's head into a billion tiny pieces.

                          The film is an entertaining mix of comedy, action and emotional drama to begin with, as Hancock struggles to stick with the program whilst occasionally losing it, shoving one prison inmate's head up another's backside on one occasion, but halfway through the film a curveball plotline takes the story in another direction, and it devolves into a more generic superhero film. The cgi special effects are standard Hollywood fare but they get the job done, and in a light-hearted film such as this their lack of realism hardly seems to matter, and Hancock remains a consistently entertaining film, although it remains one that fails to live up to its initial promise. By modern Hollywood's low standards however, it's a fairly enjoyable film.

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