“Hancock” Review

Posted on: July 3, 2008

Here be (minor) SPOILERS!

I was really, really looking forward to seeing “Hancock” after watching the trailer. Unfortunately, before the film came out I saw snippets of a couple of negative reviews that dented my enthusiasm. But I went to see it ASAP anyway with my usual movie-going friend.

I enjoyed the first 40 minutes or so immensely. It was fun and cool and I thought there was a nice undertone about adulthood, fatherhood and accepting responsibility. The redemption (as it often does in movies) actually made me well up a little bit. I was looking forward to coming home and writing about how wrong the critics were.

But then, halfway through the film, there’s a plot twist. The twist itself was pretty interesting, but at that point the movie just started to fall apart for me. I didn’t feel like the twist or its consequences were adequately explained, and frankly, I found the Hancock character much more interesting without the half-baked hints of an origin story. There’s also an under-developed bad-guy who I didn’t find remotely interesting, and for the second half of the film nothing funny happens and nothing cool happens, which is in stark contrast to the first half where the funny cool things are coming thick and fast.

The studio is clearly aiming for a franchise (and by “clearly”, I mean that they almost stick a big banner up saying “SEQUEL IN 2010!” at the end), but I don’t know how well that will work. The character was interesting because of his (considerable) flaws, but if they want the flaws back then they would have to undo the redemption, and then redeem him again without it seeming like the same movie. That would be tricky, I imagine.

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