Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Directed by: Peter Berg (“The Kingdom”)
Written by: Vincent Ngo (debut) and Vince Gilligan (“Home Fries”)
With Marvel and DC Comics reaping all the superhero glory over the last few years, it was about time someone else came in to attempt to claim their position in the genre again.
While “The Incredibles” was successful in doing it for animated films in 2004 and “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” failed to do it for action-comedies in 2006, someone else was bound to try again before another textbook “Hulk” or “Spider-Man” made a return to the big screen.
Enter two-time Academy Award-nominated actor Will Smith as the rough-edged superhero title-character in “Hancock.” What Hancock possesses in superhuman strength, speed, and flying ability, he lacks in people skills and finesse. While Superman will fly in to save the day with style, Hancock would rather cause more unnecessary damage to the city streets of L.A. before actually saving lives.
Because of his misguided acts of heroics, the citizens of L.A. view him as more of a public nuisance than a superhero. When Hancock saves Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) from getting hit by a train, the struggling public relations specialist decides he will thank him by helping revamp his image into one that is more clean-cut and praiseworthy. He does this as his wife Mary (Charlize Theron) cautiously looks on with a few reservations about the whole situation.
Although the premise is a unique take on superhero mythology and could have probably filled an entire film on “Hancock” himself, screenwriters Vincent Ngo and Vine Gilligan throw a wrench in the second half of the film after the first half proves to be spiffy fun. You’ll know when this unjustified twist in the story takes place because “Hancock” becomes amateurish in storytelling as it veers off inside the writers’ heads and onto the script when it should have been more up-front and humorous.