Reviewed on 2009 June 8
I didn’t know what to make of this one: the premise of a boozy, sarcastic, homeless superhero is something I’d never thought of, but I heard it was mediocre and passed on it when it was in the theaters. I finally got to see it the other day and while parts of it were a let-down, overall I got a kick out of it.
Hancock (Will Smith) is atypical of do-gooders like Batman and Superman: he’s usually on a park bench sleeping off a whisky binge when a crisis occurs, and when he does condescend to help out the people of L.A. he worries more about function than form. After saving the life of PR man Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) and ruining a train in the process, Embrey takes Hancock under his wing. He thinks Hancock does have a good heart under his hard, scruffy shell, and he decides to work with him to change his image. Embrey has no idea of the can of worms he opened.
This thing was much better than I expected during the first third of the movie, then started to get all sugary towards the middle, with a weaker ending. It was still a decent yarn, and I have to give Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan credit for a unique idea. The acting was good too, with Smith willing to discard his likable persona for a while. There are many worse things to rent for a summer night.
Two chocolate morsels and a plate of pasta (with meatballs, of course).