Saturday, July 05, 2008
Hancock. What a mess. Avoid it at all costs.
(Massive spoiler alert. But since it’s my intention to keep you away from this movie, I encourage everyone to read on.)
What’s sad is that it could’ve been a passable movie. You have Will Smith, arguably the most bankable star in the world. The socially-inept-alcoholic-amnesiac-superhero premise is actually somewhat interesting, only if there’s a script to support it. There’s none.
And you have Charlize Theron…it’s freaking Charlize Theron! I want to see her doing anything in any scene, except her articulating some unintelligible semi-karmic philosophy in the thousands-year-old love-hate relationship with her amnesiac superhero husband. Urgh!
Most of the jokes fall flat. The superhero PR makeover theme starts off OK, but that only includes a few reluctant “Good job”, a new rubber-suit, and a few AA meetings. Then, out of nowhere, the script decides to abandon the whole PR plot and chase a completely different direction.
There’s a scene that audience will painfully witness Hancock shoves someone’s head into another person’s ass. I nearly had tears rolling down my cheeks, my sympathetic tears for Will Smith to endure such unimaginable humiliation. Did anyone notice that is juvenile, gross, and worst of all, totally unfunny?
Then there’s a sudden mid-movie plot twist. One minute Hancock is a clumsy superhero with all sorts of super-human power, dueling Charlize on Hollywood Blvd, causing some major collateral destructions. The next minute, we are told that Hancock will somehow inexplicably “lose” his power when being together with Charlize, and that he’s critically wounded in a run-of-the-mill robbery. Then, a few more minutes later, just in time for the climax (or what’s supposed to be a climax), he’s revived and kick ass again (I have to admit that I didn’t quite follow that last 1/3 because I was half-asleep most of the time). Nobody looks for logic in a superhero summer blockbuster, but please, at least try to be consistent.
Even the villain looks like someone plucked randomly from the temp staff. The obligatory revenge sub-plot is so abrupt, so weak, and so undercooked. I can almost hear the buzz in the screenwriter’s head: “OK, we need a conclusive fight scene here. Let’s see...how about that clueless criminal dude? Great! Let’s insert a dialogue here and there, make up some excuses, and call it a day. Hooray!”
Oh, that little show-me-some-heart fluffy ending. Drawing graffiti on the surface of the moon doesn’t exactly help world hunger, but it sure doesn’t need more than one page of extra script. Why don’t they wrap it up by showing Hancock actually helping Jason Bateman changing the world? Oh yeah, that would mean some extra writing. No. No. No.
Don’t see it if you have to pay for it (I didn’t). No, don’t see it even you don’t have to pay. This superhero madness is going out of control. It must be stopped.