Hancock

hancockposterYear: 2008

Synopsis: Hancock, an alcoholic super-powered antihero, came to be hated by his city for the mess he always made, but finally saves one person interested in saving Hancock.

Pros:
• Will Smith almost seems to have too much fun in the role that pokes fun at its genre.
• Fully blurs the line between hero and villain.
• Injects further realism into the finally evolving genre.
• Makes valid points about the mess super-powered people always seem to leave behind them.

Cons:
• Somewhat predictable story, in spite of its more unique elements.
• The greater level of violence might have turned off fans of the genre at the time.
• Was a bit less than the sum of its parts.
• Antiheroes, by their nature, can be inaccessible to some viewers, and Hancock was no exception.

Discussion:
Though perhaps less remembered than Unbreakable (2000), Hancock continued that genre evolution into the more realistic narrative areas. Superhero films before and since may portray cataclysmic damages, but made no effort to discuss the consequences of that. Hancock was literally arrested for the mess he made flying around while drunk. In some ways, he started as blind. His memories were lost due to events discussed in the film, and did not really know how to conduct himself. The strongest elements of humor came through the most real. He had trouble not making a mess through his super-strength, so he later had to awkwardly step back and think about how he would help. He never acknowledged the heroism of others, and awkwardly forced out compliments in the hope people would like him at all. That was what made him a hero at heart: willing to change himself to be the hero the city deserved. Perhaps the film’s true uniqueness, though, was the fully blurred line between hero and villain. People of the city hated Hancock for being a flying disaster, and his true opposite was the ex-wife he did not remember. His ex-wife, Mary (Theron), might have come off as an antagonist in that highly destructive argument, but was simply not as interested in helping others like Hancock. She was more interested in occasionally helping one person at a time, and not making a show of it. The two naturally came together, but were never really out to destroy each other. Even if it was a bit less than the sum of its parts, this film very much foreshadowed the Civil War plot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe of no heroes and villains, and perhaps not so coincidentally overlapped with the original Civil War story in the comics.

Related:
Unbreakable


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 41%

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