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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
As superhero movies go, this is definitely a break from the norm. Will Smith plays a down-and-out superhero, slumming his way through life knocking back a bottle of alcohol. His life is meaningless, self-centred and he's hated by pretty much everyone. He leaves a trail of destruction in his wake, and even when tries to do the right thing, he's confronted with his own inabilities and verbal abuse from the world around. In short he's pretty close to a homeless drunk with some extraordinary powers.

However, all that changes when he inadvertently saves Ray (Jason Bateman) from a car accident and then becomes Ray's pet project in a publicity campaign to make the world a better place. Ray's wife Mary (Charlie Theron) finds out first hand what it's like to know a superhero when her husband invites Hancock around for dinner, and a spark between them ignites. As Hancock works with Ray on a rehabilitation plan to better himself as a person, there are some great comedy moments that are full of action and some first rate special effects.

Overall, this is a spin on the good and moral superhero stories, showing a less than perfect hero looking for guidance. It's fun, fast and full of action, and great watching.

My only negative comment with this movie is I didn't particularly like the coincidental and god-like plot near the end of the film, where I thought the story got too far stretched. Apart from that, it's a fun movie that looks good and worth watching if you like superhero flicks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Will Smith stars as the titular character Hancock, a hard drinking super hero resident in Los Angeles, who's deeds do a lot more harm than good. He has all the powers of Superman - the ability to fly, super strength, and a body that's impervious to bullets, but he strongly resents the responsibilities which come with his special abilities and loses himself in drink.
Whenever Hancock can rouse himself out of one of his alcoholic stupors, and comes to the aid of the authorities in the apprehension of gun-toting criminals, he always leaves a trail of destruction in his wake that's far worse than anything the hoodlums might have perpetrated.
Hancock's apathetic and sullen approach to the duties of a super hero, and the extremely bad press associated with that, lead him to accept help from an enthusiastic public relations and image consultant, Ray Embrey, who's married to Mary, played by Charlize Theron (whom, by the way, has never looked finer than she does in this flick).
Hancock and Ray form a friendship proving the theorem that opposites attract, and as Hancock grows closer to Ray and his family, he comes to see that the life of a loner, even if you can fly and pluck bullets out the air, is very much second best to feeling wanted and needed by others...
This is an enjoyable super hero pic, but there's no disguising the fact that it's a lot more inventive and fun when Hancock is being a bad boy (i.e. the first half of the movie), and falters when Hancock turns over a new leaf in the second half of the film. Will Smith is well cast as an abrasive and surly anti-hero turned well mannered hero, and Charlize Theron sizzles as the woman he wants but can't have.
All in all, this is a solid 3.5 star actioner, which goes off the boil when Hancock becomes a nice guy.
Thank you very much for kindly taking the time to read this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a slightly confusing film because it doesn't seem to have a clear idea as to what it is or who it's aimed at. There's even a question mark in my mind as to why it needed to be made at all, because although it offers a slightly left-field take on superhero movies (Hancock is no Clark Kent - he's a miserable, foul-mouthed drunk) it seems to unintentionally be a spoof of all the superhero films ever made without actually offering any satire. The flying thing - well, that's Superman of course. Stopping a huge train reminded me of a similar stunt pulled off by the Fantastic Four's The Thing. There are references in the dialogue to Batcaves and Wolverine. Yet there's very little to laugh out loud at, just the occasional chuckle, and in any case if would flatter it to call it a comedy-something. Of course there's action, 90% of which comes courtesy of sometimes average CGI; even in high-definition it was a bit blurred because, I guess, the film-makers didn't invest the time and money needed to get the very best cutting edge high-tech people and equipment. That's a serious shortcoming in a film which obviously depends on special effects to make it special.

The talky stuff between the action will send most 15-year-olds to sleep, partly because half way through, the film takes a left turn and tries to offer some explanations as to what's behind Hancock's superpowers and spends too much time on it to be of value. This should have been all action and little else, the serious stuff nullified it however.

So it's kind of a spoof that isn't a spoof, an action blockbuster with some low-rent effects and some twists and turns that it didn't really need to make. I think the best target-market for this kind of film would be those who enjoyed Spider-Man, already in its third production with a fourth due in 2011; I rather doubt that there will be a Hancock 2. If there is, I will definitely give it a miss.

As for the Blu-Ray side of things, I didn't think that this was a film that noticably benefited from such added clarity and enhanced audio effcts, indeed on occasions I wondered if I was watching a normal SD version. Charlize Theron did look lovely though.

I think the rating of 15 should be respected, not just for the violence but more so for the coarse language. There are much worse out there, but this was a strange mixture of a story that should have appealed to kids of 10 or thereabouts (the age of a key supporting character) but I personally don't think it's suitable.

On my disc there were a total of four runs of the whole film - the theatrical version, an unrated version, and then the same choice with an in-picture running commentary of how various scenes were prepared for and filmed etc. The trailers for other films were all manually selected from a menu, a welcome change from having them force-fed before the main presentation. There were some downloads too, which possibly vary from time to time. I chose a download of a recent (May 2009) film called Obsessed but it was nothing that interesting.

Will Smith seems to be trying hard to take on as many varied roles as he can and I suppose he should be commended for having the adaptability to front films such as Ali, Seven Pounds , The Pursuit Of Happyness and I, Robot (to name just four of his twenty cinematic releases to date). Hancock won't be his greatest legacy though, even if he did pocket $80 million for it. He is, after all, the highest paid actor in Hollywood. he's much better suited to Bad Boys 2 for this kind of thing - an action blockbuster that does what it says on the tin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2009
Will Smith's jaded superhero vehicle Hancock starts out well enough - albeit with a premise not a million miles away from Pixar's The Incredibles, but the screenplay leaks coherence as it goes on, and by its conclusion has virtually none left.

There was just too much in the plot arc for it to have much hope of hanging together: the plot twists significantly and starts off in quite different directions on more than one occasion, and in its final act where you might expect some resolution, the (poorly drawn) villain characters and their motivations were too flimsily expounded, and the uncomfortable relationship between the three leading characters - a superhero love triangle, of sorts - was not satisfactorily resolved but instead just found an improbable equilibrium.

There are some great comedy moments - as you would expect, Will Smith has some great lines and he delivers them with his characteristic panache - and Jason Bateman is - well, Jason Bateman - a likeable everyman who injects warmth into the screenplay. But as it goes on Hancock veers uneasily between comedy and edgy thriller, finally (and to my mind unwisely) settling for the latter - there are some harrowing moments right at the end - when the film's loopy superhero premise denied just the kind of credibility needed to carry that off, and had more than enough acting and comedy talent to ensure the former would be a banker.

Like many films of this type there is some over-use of the (undeniably impressive) CGI, and the film, though starting off promisingly enough, winds up being no more than a watchable, if confusing film.

Olly Buxton
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 December 2008
Being one of those who likes Will Smith (in fact, I'm not sure I've ever come across anybody who doesn't like the man), I was looking forward to this movie. I loved the premise, the trailer looked great, and I felt it had huge promise. It sounded really funny.

It doesn't quite live up to it. Smith's dark humour really works, the action sequences are well done and the film does get laughs, but I can't help feeling that somewhere after the first half the film makers copped out. The laughs stop coming as fast, and as Charlize Theron's character gets more involved things start to lose interest. Explanations of who Hancock is and his limitations are allowed little time (surprising given the meal they make of the build up), they're extremely flimsy and could do with greater detail/being a bit more thought out. The difference in powers between them begs a question of whether or not they can do the same things, and as far as plot devices there's a really clumsy one. I can't detail it lest I spoil somebody, but all in all I was unimpressed by it all (being an SF/fantasy fan, I tend to get picky about my origin stories and logic flaws in such things!).

I make it sound terrible, and it's not. It's entertaining, there are some good gags, and it's got more to it than some of the blockbusters of 2008. I like that it tried to take a more original twist on the superhero genre, I like a bit of black humour and this movie will entertain you. I will happily watch it more than once and I will still be laughing when that whale hits the boat. Still, I think it could have been even better.

Will Smith still rules though. If ever I was to lay claim to an action guy, it'd be be him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hancock(Will Smith)' is a reluctant super-hero with some really bad attitude,despite the heroics, helping the law and saving people, nobody actually likes him, and he doesn't really know why.
Until....one day....he rescues 'Ray'(Jason Bateman) from certain death on a Raiiway-crossing, 'Ray' has a need to repay 'Hancock' for his action, first 'Ray' invites 'Hancock' to his home for a meal, then outlines a plan to change both the image and help solve the attitude problem.
There is a problem however 'Ray' must know nothing about, 'Hancock' feels a connection to 'Ray's' wife he'd met for the first time over dinner, he doesn't know why he's drawn to her.
I must admit i've enjoyed and in fact own several 'Will Smith' movies so i was having seen the trailer first,it left me really looking forward to this one, and in truth i felt a bit disappointed overall, can't put my finger on it but i did feel an ingredient was missing in the overall content.
Don't get me wrong i did enjoy the experience, the 'special-effects' were pretty impressive, and there was some good action and an element of comedy involved, just felt it could have been so much better ?
Worth watching even buying, i'm sure you'll all enjoy the film, but if you like movies as much as i do, i think you'll see what i mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
`Hancock' is a film of 2 halves. The first half is quite funny and amusing and shows real promise and then for the second half the whole tone changes and it feels more serious and struggles with what it initially set out to be. Following Hancock (played superbly by Will Smith) who is a superhero who hasn't got the best people skills, you see how he eventually befriends a marketing consultant and how he turns his life around to be accepted by society. That is the first part of the film and the bit that I enjoyed, the second half then follows a completely different tack (which I won't state here to avoid spoilers) and concludes the film in a whole different way than you were expecting. The acting is pretty good from all involved and Jason Bateman always manages to crack me up. The effects are good but don't carry the film and although the ending lets this film down, this is still a good way to spend 90 minutes and makes for a fairly entertaining film. Don't expect anything too high brow and be prepared for a weak ending and this film should entertain you enough. Worth a viewing.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2010
I cannot understand why this was not much more successful.

This is another hugely entertaining turn from Will Smith, in a role which, while it's not exactly Shakespeare, gives a much better range of aspects to the character than in most "Superhero" movies.

In fact, there are kind of two films here, cleverly interwoven, that link Hancock's development from the unpleasant drunk to a future as a loved superhero, and then deliciously weaves in his background. Some teriffic lines "What kind of a b****** must I have been......",is very telling in its way, and at the end, how he saves, well, I won't spoil it, but the act befits a character that has developed hugely since the start of the movie.

The extra story bits in the special edition fill in some holes and add a little, notably the scenes about sex which will be familiar to anyone who's read Larry Niven's gem "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex".

Nicely cynical, emotion manipulating, and above all a damned good watch. My only bug is that I can't transfer the included DIVX version to my MP3 player as it's coded.

Time well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hancock is a greatly entertaining film that follows the drunken hero Hancock as he attempts to sober up and live up to his potential. Added to this his mysterious past comes back to haunt him as well as his own well meaning actions.

Hancock is a great fun film with a light heart and some good performances from all those involved. I am not generally a fan of Will Smith but this is definitely one of his better performances and although I feel that Charlize Theron was terribly underused in the film, she did give a great performance.

The CGI effects are very good for the most part, although a few of the effects towards the end could definitely have been better. The main problem with this film is that it seems to lack focus with the first and second halves of the film seeming to have a subtly different tone which doesn't quite gel. This is only a minor complaint though as the film is great fun and a nice take on the traditional superhero film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2009
Original because of its brand new concept of super heroing.

It is indeed a big challenge to create a new super hero, with a new hero theme soundtrack after all there has been created.

Will Smith performs and incarnates the transformation from a wasted anyone into a caring mighty one.

Charlize: this angel switches and renews the second half of the movie in a remarcable balance of sensuality and determination.

Bateman is funny without even trying and links the whole with subtlety.

Only one but in here : The character of the psyco enemy does not look connected to the rest of the context, doesn't he?

Ethics, yin-yang philosophies, role models and society issues condensed in a funny entertainement.

Good job!
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