“Damn! Handjob!”

Ever since Hollywood decided it didn’t need to be original to earn money, audiences have had a steady stream of superhero movies thrown their way. These range from the awesome (Iron Man), to the bad (Spiderman), to the downright sh***y (Spiderman). This week audiences will flock to see Hancock, which puts a new spin on an old story.

Will Smith stars as (knock me down with a feather) Hancock, a real life superhero with real life problems. Well, one real life problem – he’s a drunk. This of course leads to real life hilarity as when drunks yell at people, hilarity ensues. Needless to say, Hancock is no Superman, and after having caused millions of dollars in damages to the city of Los Angeles, needs a little help cleaning up his image. Helping him with that is Ray Embrey, played by Jason Bateman. Hancock is going to play nice, and to show how serious he is, he’ll serve jail time for all the trouble he’s caused. That is, until he gets a call from the commissioner…

What did I like about the movie? For one, Will Smith. When Independence Day and Men in Black came out, I think The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was still a little too fresh (*snort*) in our minds for us to take him too seriously as a big-screen actor. He’s paid his dues and proven himself since then, and his performance in Hancock doesn’t disappoint. He plays his part well and his jokes are funny. Adding to the mix is Bateman, who because of Arrested Development can do no wrong with me. You see a little Michael Bluth in every role he plays (it doesn’t work for Steve Carrell, it does work for Jason Bateman). And wait, before you go, we’ve also got Charlize Theron! Who I hear came out of the womb wearing makeup and a white Narciso Rodriguez. These three work a lot of chemistry here and the movie really wouldn’t have been as good without them.

Why wouldn’t the movie have been as good, you ask? Well, Hancock had some trouble finding itself. The movie takes a turn halfway through that the trailers and commercials have done a great job keeping a secret, but will be obvious once you ask yourself if Charlize Theron would really play such a bit part in a big summer movie. Unfortunately, the switch is so secret that once it happens you feel like you’re watching a different movie. And while it’s not as interesting as the one you’ve seen advertised for the past three months, it’s still pretty good, but at 92 minutes doesn’t offer the payoff it should have. Every hero takes a journey, and a big chunk of Hancock’s must have ended up on the cutting-room floor. As we come closer to the end, it seems like the movie is trying to decide whether it likes being an action or a comedy movie more. It gets really uneven, but I’d say is ultimately forgiven because of it’s cast.

Some are saying that Hancock could have been a lot edgier than it was, and while there’s no doubt could have been, I wonder if it would have been the right decision. I think I’ll save the serious stuff for next summer’s Watchmen, and just be content to laugh along with Hancock. Aside from some language, both kids and their parents will have fun here. This will work at the theaters and on a Saturday night dreaming about Charlize Theron.

6.9 out of 10 stars

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2 responses to ““Damn! Handjob!”

  1. After the string of movies that have tried to go too dark (Spiderman–FAIL) or too light (Indiana Jones, Pirates), I think Hancock found a pretty good balance between action and comedy. I definitely think it deserves a good 7.5 stars…and that’s coming from the person who’s “critical of every movie there ever was.”

  2. Thank Goodness for someone else acknowledging the piece of crap Spiderman was. Making a third sequel to that film is just like using too much toilet paper: unnecessary, but who really cares?

    Hancock looks like a toss up to me. I can get behind just about anything Will Smith does, but there is the obvious possibility this film could suffer from generic creation. I’m aware of the surprise you mentioned. A few months back my old partner and myself’s marketing director let us know the info on it when were we scheduled to interview Will Smith. Unfortunately, Oprah and Jada got in the way……..and then so did the demise of the website……I digress, but yes, I think it adds an interesting twist to the plot making it something more than just a one dimensional story.

    Plus as stated: Charlize Theron=Smoking Hot, extra point just for that.

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