Movie Review: Hancock

>We’ve all experienced it before: trailers for movies that seem fill you in on the whole plot before you set foot into the theater. Sometimes they can make you wonder what the point is of going to see the movies if you already know what to expect. So as I was sitting in the theater waiting for Hancock to start, I began running through my mind what I already knew about this movie from all the commercials and publicity.

The first trailer shows him sacked-out on a bus stop bench like a wino. Soon, a boy wakes him up and tells him that there are some bad guys causing problems. Hancock then grudgingly takes off to the save the day. From the trailers that follow we learn that his carelessness causes more damage and problems than the crimes were creating in the first place. We also see Jason Bateman playing someone who is trying to help clean up his image, which he must do successfully because we later see Hancock in a tight leather crime-fighting suit attempting to save the day in a more civilized way.

Will all of this in mind I was worried that I was about to sit through an extended version of what I had already seen, but I was pleased when the movie started and within the first 15-20 minutes just about every scene that had shown up in the trailers and commercials had gone by and there was still plenty of screen time left. It was obvious that the moviemakers had a broad enough story to tell that would go far beyond Hancock’s wayward days.

And what they come up with is exciting! It’s a really fun ride, especially for anyone who enjoys superhero movies and is in the mood for something slightly different. In many ways, Hancock is parody of many of the hero movies out there—kind of an anti-hero or a hero dealing with real world problems. Will Smith does an excellent job conveying the bad attitude needed for us to understand why the good people of L.A. would feel like they’d be better off without him, but he also is wonderful when he needs to let us see the struggles Hancock goes through as he tries to figure out what kind of person he wants to be.

There was one point in the movie, though, once we had gotten beyond everything that was shown in the pre-release publicity, that I was I wasn’t liking the direction the movie was going in. There’s a twist in the story that I wasn’t feeling too crazy about. I won’t reveal what it is because it would spoil much of the movie, but I will say that it was a seemingly implausible coincidence that they ended up explaining in a way that ended up taking away all my apprehension and getting me back into really enjoying the show. By the time the movie was over, it had won me over and I was wishing I could seem more. (By the way, don’t be so quick to get up and leave the theater once the credits start running.)

There may be some people who don’t like the direction that it goes in the post trailer movie, but just keep in mind that it is a super-hero movie and in the end it fulfills that role perfectly. Will Smith once again proves that he is an A-list movie star for a good reason. Jason Bateman is endearing and fun as the struggling PR guy, Ray, who decides to try to change Hancock’s image. Charlize Theron is perfect as Mary, Ray’s wife, who is very cautious about bringing Hancock into their lives. Together they are a great group of actors that I look forward to seeing in many things to come.

Hancock is rated PG-13 for super-hero violence and action, but what makes it inappropriate for youngsters is a large dose of foul language. Recommended for older kids and adults.

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