Half Hancocked

I know that, as usual, America probably won’t agree with me on this point, but “Hancock” is not very good. It COULD have been good. It was certainly a cool concept: Reluctant superhero with amnesia drifts through life bungling rescues and generally being disliked until he somehow becomes motivated to improve. Even the Soderbergh-esque docu-style filming COULD have been cool. But it was too noticeable, taking us out of the story every time the camera “artfully” refocused or got all up in someone’s nose.

Charlize Theron usually puts forth a decent performance, but in this case she could have been any ho-hum blonde actress playing the wife of a do-gooder PR man with SECRETS. Even when her much foreshadowed mystery is revealed, she doesn’t get any deeper. Instead, they substitute character development with lots and lots of dark eyeliner. Sam Raimi already tried this.

hancockJason Bateman, playing the aforementioned PR man, is also squandered. He is known for excelling in the awkward reaction shot arena. But here, they keep the camera far away from him during the moments that count and instead stick them into Will Smith’s constant “Whatchoo Talking About Willis” mug.

Most of the jokes are juvenile and repeated ad nauseam. I liked the old “insult triggering violence” gag better the first 100 times I saw it in the Back to the Future movies. I can’t for the life of me figure out why that one kid has a French accent. Is it ONLY so that he can be named Michel? So that for 5 minutes it sounds like Jason Bateman’s son is being beaten up by a girl? I bet that it is. And it’s a crappy joke. In fact, the whole movie seems to be suffering from some sort of an identity crisis. As a comedy, it’s not very funny. As a sci-fi drama, it’s lazy. The big twist is hinted at for too long and then rushed so that the big smashy ending can happen.

Also, (SPOILER ALERT) why is it that people who are supposedly hundreds of years old talk like they are from…I don’t know…modern day WEST PHILADELPHIA?(End Spoiler).

Every good idea in this film is half-assed. Allegedly, the script was floating around Hollywood for years. Too bad it didn’t float to a re-write desk.

We had the chocolate chips, the flour, the sugar and the eggs. But somebody forgot the baking powder and we ended up with a big pile of mush called “Hancock”. It doesn’t matter though. America loves them some Will Smith cookies. As for me, I’m on a diet.

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