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Old July 4 2008, 08:49 PM   #43
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Re: Hancock - Grading & Discussion

Good review from SFX magazine that gave it 2.5/5

Imagine if an actual superhero were put together in the same way as a Hollywood blockbuster. He would be concrete from the waist down and vapour from the nipples up; he would creep around with astonishing stealth and wear a glowing orange helmet; he would have the ability to fly - but drive around everywhere in a souped-up monster truck. He would be right at home, in other words, in Hancock, a superhero film so incoherent it makes Catwoman look like Visconti’s Death In Venice.
And yet the first half hour promises so much. Will Smith is John Hancock, a man who can tick off flight, strength and invulnerability in the superpower survey but who still lives in a trailer and is constantly drunk and obnoxious. He fights crime, but wreaks far more havoc than the criminals. One day he lackadaisically saves the life of a PR guru played by Jason Bateman. In return Bateman’s character decides to help Hancock improve his public image. All this is very funny, and, as in Cloverfield, the combination of shaky handheld cameras and expensive CGI is deft indeed.
But then the proper plot starts and the laughing stops. Sony have made a forehead-smacking oversight here, which is that they’ve neglected, for once in recent Hollywood history, to give away the basic twist in the trailer. No doubt heads have already rolled over this disaster, but for the audience it might even be a boon, since the twist, which comes about halfway through, is a pretty exciting one.
It’s only when the twist’s implications begin to surface that the film falls on its invincible face. Clearly the product of a dozen drafts by a dozen different screenwriters with a dozen different "great ideas", the third act of Hancock – which bids goodbye to the supertramp - is a pompous, nonsensical mess. And every time director Peter Berg forces in some incongruous comedy, or edits out a conversation that might have explained what just happened, you can see all the stitches and glue.
Have you ever had a friend who’s so much fun when they’re smashed that a guilty part of you wishes they’d never sober up? That’s Hancock.
Ned Beauman
Pretty much sums it up for me

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