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Jul 23, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: Hancock

Most films like Hancock - blockbuster actioners - generally take somewhere in the neighborhood of nine months-one year to complete: three months of pre-production, three months of filming, and three months of post-production/effects work. Hancock technically is no different; filming started in July 2007, and there were re-shoots that too the production through May 2008 (thanks, Wiki). Why then, does the movie feel like it went from idea to finished product in the span of four months?

Perhaps it's because the story was around for so long (written in 1996), and was no doubt molested by so many people over the years. Though, if that's the case - and it has to be - then why are there so damn many holes in the story?

Hancock starts off good enough - a novel idea about a fallen superhero and his push towards redemption. There's probably a 24 episode sitcom's worth of material to be pulled from it, and the film begins well, with a child waking up the drunken Hancock, directing him to a situation in need of his assistance, and calling him an "asshole" when he fails to rise to the occassion quickly enough. But when the film attempts to tell us why he's fallen, why he's a drunken mess, it falls flat on its face. Attempts to give him any sort of weakness or antagonist (the chief components of any superhero movie) also fail, and pretty miserably.

What we're left with is a movie that features a gamey first half, appealing stars (Smith and Bateman, especially), and a second half that not only fails to capture the audience's attention, but drags on endlessly. Despite coming in at short 93 minutes, you'll be left checking your watch, not for the time in general, but to monitor any one of the several shots that linger twice as long as they needed to. You can almost see the director in the background making the "stretch" sign, meeting his hands up together only to slowly pull them away from each other.

Perhaps he should have just made the "cut" sign instead.

Fletch's Film Rating:


P.S. - Should you still see this, be sure to stay for a few seconds after the credits hit for an amusing scene featuring Mike Epps.

P.P.S. - The film openly steals one of its main conceits from the Back to the Future series. For shame, people, for shame. If you've seen both, you ought to know what I'm referencing.

5 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Hancock"

Cinexcellence said...

You know, it would have worked better as a sitcom.

I did enjoy Hitchcock, but it's one of those films that I won't be ardently defending. (Is that the definition of a guilty pleasure?) :)

Nick said...

Am I the only person who actually liked the second half of the movie more than the first half?

Daniel G. said...

Oh no. I consider myself a huge BTTF fan, and I'm missing the reference. Must be because I checked out for significant moments in Hancock. Still like Will Smith, though.

Fletch said...

@ Cinexcellence - I think so. Not sure, though, I think I might defend some of my guilty pleasures (coughbloodsportcough) to the death, if need be.

@ Nick - yes. I checked. ;)

@ Daniel - Chicken. That's all I'm sayin'.

Michael J. Mendez said...

Nobody... calls me... CHICKEN.

Hancock should've been a good movie, but I think having Will Smith as the start prevented the movie from being as dark as it could have been.