Friday, July 04, 2008

Hancock: Forget the People Save The Story!

Undoubtedly, Will Smith's "Hancock" will generate fireworks at the movie box office this Independence Day weekend, but I'm not sure it should based on the story alone. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't support it. What I'm saying is don't expect to be overly "wowed" by anything except maybe the humorous antics of a super hero acting badly.

The premise starts off well but seems to lose focus near the film's end. Hancock is an LA superhero with a bad attitude and a drinking problem. When not haphazardly stopping crime and saving lives he 's drowning in his loneliness at a local bar or on a public bench. Still, his intentions are good but the damage he carelessly leaves behind has residents and city officials complaining.

PR man, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, "The Kingdom"), has a problem with public perception too. Seems he can't get a corporate client to buy into his "save the world" campaign, especially when it involves giving away profitable products for free. Imagine that! When he's saved from a train accident by Hancock, Embrey sees a golden opportunity to secure a new client and a way to improve both their status in the public eye.

Embrey's wife, Mary (Cherlize Theron, "Monster") isn't so sure Hancock is worth the trouble. Why? Because this pretty suburban housewife is more than what meets the eye. She's definitely attracted to the bad boy super hero in more ways than one. And the explanation behind her attraction is where the story falls apart. It raises a lot of questions, but never really answers them and takes our focus away from the central character.

I'm not going to spoil the film for those of you that haven't seen it. But there are valid reasons why "Hancock" isn't getting rave reviews from the critics and general movie go-ers. And this time, I have to agree with most of them. Smith's popularity and cool visual effects may satisfy the bottom line at the box office, but they don't make "Hancock" the great movie it had the potential to be. Better attention to story telling could have saved the day.

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