Hancock is like communism: a great idea on paper but it in the end, it's just doesn't work.
Hancock (played by Will Smith) is a ne'er-do-well superhero. Sure, he'll save the day but he'll most likely do millions of dollars worth of damage in the process. He's drunk, sloppy and surly (my three favorite dwarfs). When Hancock happens to rescue P.R. man Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) from an oncoming train, Embrey decides to repay him by focusing his marketing skills on Hancock.
In a running gag, Hancock has an aversion to being called a certain insulting term (Hint: it ends with "hole"). Every time he hears it, he feels compelled to react to the person using the word. What's that you say? As a matter of fact, it is just like Marty McFly in Back To The Future II & III. It was a silly plot device then and it's a silly plot device now.
This movie feels like three different films cobbled together. There's the "funny" Hancock, there's the "grim and gritty" Hancock and there's the "action/adventure" Hancock. Any of them could have worked…none of them did.
Movies of this sort often create their own rules when it comes to the physical laws of nature. But if a film is going to do that, those rules need to remain consistent. At one point Hancock begins to lose his powers. But while this makes him no longer invulnerable he still posses his super strength. At another point, Hancock throws a child what must have been at least a mile in the air (and this is the "funny" Hancock, by the way) and catches him while standing still. In the real world, even if Hancock would have caught him he would have, at best, broken the kid's back. In a movie with a lighter tone, perhaps a Spiderman movie, this wouldn't be too much of a problem. But Hancock wants to be somewhat grounded in reality. Hancock is facing multiple lawsuits, he's wanted by the police but they have no real way to apprehend him because of his superpowers, when he lands at full speed he destroys the pavement. So when they completely break with reality for a cheap joke, it rings hollow.
What little positive there is in this film comes from Will Smith and Jason Bateman. Smith and Bateman have real chemistry and it's a shame they weren't given something better to work with. While Bateman isn't really a big enough star to haggle over the screenplay quality of a summer tent pole picture, Will Smith most certainly is.
For a screenplay that's supposedly been floating around Hollywood for over a decade, this movie seems hastily made. If you've ever wanted to see a superhero film without a super-villain, here's your chance. (And you might want to hurry because judging by the quality of this movie, I'm guessing it's your last chance.) I'm not really sure who this movie is for. It's too dark for younger kids and too juvenile for adults.
The special effects are overly cartoonish. On more than one occasion, the director tries to hide substandard effects by having the camera move in a shaky, jerky fashion.