Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Finally, Will Smith is in a movie that is good without qualifications.
I Am Legend was good at parts, but had lots of flaws. Pursuit of Happyness was done well, and Smith's acting was great, but it was kind of over the top on the emotional manipulation. Hitch was just crap. I, Robot had great source material, but lacked in comparison because the robots were a little too cartoony. Bad Boys 2, Men In Black, Ali, Wild Wild West, etc., all passable movies with major flaws that had to be overlooked in order to enjoy them.
Hancock's only flaws are in the brevity of it. If there was more movie, there would have been deeper explanation of many parts. Mostly questions on the back story. But to me, that's good because the film leaves me wanting more.
It's a hard movie to discuss because much of my enjoyment was based around the fact that the movie was not what was expected going in to it. It delivered on the promise given by the previews of a funny, outlandish and definitely out of the ordinary superhero movie. But after establishing that, they take on explaining why Hancock is who he is. His journey to become a better man, or better superhero.
Smith shows his off acting chops as he manages to ditch his usual charm and leave behind the guy that everybody loves to be a social pariah with a habit pissing off everyone around him, even the people he saves.
Honestly, the movie was better than the premise should have been. Partly because of Will Smith's ability to make movies that are better than they should be. Partly because of an extremely solid supporting cast. And majorly because of the director, Peter Berg.
Berg has a history of making movies that are okay ideas that turn out being better than the mediocre premise they are based on. He took Very Bad Things from what could have been just another comedy to one of the better movies from the late 90's glut of formulaic-pushing-the-envelope-but-only-just-a-little dark comedies. He made The Rock's first good movie. The Kingdom was a solid war movie in an era of crap movies about the middle east. So I'm clearly psyched that Berg has been tapped for the Dune remake.
So with the combination of Berg, Smith and one of my favorite actors, Jason Bateman, it turns out to be Will Smith's best movie in a long long time. Maybe ever. And his most unique movie since Men in Black. And his most enjoyable movie since the first Bad Boys.
I'll give Hancock an A-.
--John Berry, Online Editor--


Anonymous patrick said...

Hancock looks like interesting spin on the latest superhero movie craze... if nothing else at least Will Smith tends to be pretty funnyp

July 3, 2008 at 2:13 PM 

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