Negative buzz has been surrounding Hancock for quite some time, yet not in my life it hasn't. Ever since I saw the first trailer for the movie I got excited about it, it looked genuinely funny, inventive and it starred Will Smith, a sure fire success then right? Will Smith is a great actor and I love nearly every movie he has ever been in, even I Am Legend had its great moments. Yet there is one Will Smith I cannot stand, that being Wild Wild West, which for the sake of space and time I won't even begin criticising. So does Hancock live up to his greats, or deserves to be dead and buried like Wild Wild West? Well it's a mixture of both to be honest. Obviously I didn't hate it, hence the 6/10 rating, but it was also dull and boring in some sections, only livened by Smith's electric presence. Let me start by saying the start of the movie is priceless, funny and witty as hell. Smith gives his funniest performance in years and the movie is brilliant. Unfortunately once we hit the jail scenes onwards the movie hits a snag, while it does have its dark humour streak but Will Smith's sharp tongue alone cannot gloss over the fact the movie is going absolutely nowhere at an incredibly slow pace. As the movie goes on it just descends into almost madness with loads of waffle about immortals and a twist so obvious that I rolled my eyes when it happened. Still the movie does have its share of action and the comedy is pretty inventive, yet its not the movie it really could have been and is certainly nowhere near Smith's best.
So onto the acting. As I've previously said Will Smith is truly brilliant in the role, when we first meet him he's a drunken slob who is hated by everyone. He makes out he doesn't care that he's hated but deep down he really does, still these scenes give Smith the opportunity to come out with some classic lines. The best by far being his response to a fat person, I won't spoil it but it made me cry with laughter. Even as the plot gets more and more silly Smith still does a good performance. Admittedly he does become too nice a superhero towards the end, and you do wish his darker streak would return. Charlize Theron does a good job in a role that starts off unimportant but gradually shows importance later. By the end she delivers a pretty impressive performance, and she also seems to be having some fun. Still her opening scenes are pretty painful and bland to watch. Jason Bateman is pretty good for the first half of the movie, being funny and interesting at the same time. Unfortunately he pretty much becomes pointless near the end, in fact its his absence towards the end that really impacts on the movie. The focus on Hancock's relationship with him at the beginning if the best parts of the movie, take that away and it loses its sheen a bit. And then we go onto the lead villain duties, played by Eddie Marsan. To say the character is garbage is an understatement, I doubt I'd class him as a villain, he's more of an after thought that anything else. Its an average performance for a poor character.
So do the successes of Hancock outweigh its mediocrity? Thankfully it just about does. The first third of the movie is a solid 9/10 movie, no question about it. The second third is a 3/10 movie, and the final third just about gets a 6/10, so on average the movie is a 6/10 movie. The script itself is pretty sharp for the most part, only losing its focus near the muddled conclusion. The directing is solid for the most part, although the constant usage of hand-held cameras does start to get annoying in your average talky bit, I just wanted to scream at the director to keep still! The action and special effects are extremely good, the final third takes pride in its big brawls and they do really thrill. The opening bits with Hancock flying are equally impressive. However its the odd indecision of whether the movie is serious or a comedy that really proves the movies down point. Its three movies in one, only one being the movie it really should have been. Still it is a bit of moderate summer fare, and I suspect kids and easily pleased adults will find much to enjoy with Hancock. Its also highly forgettable as well, a shame as with a sharper focus this could have been one of the best movies of the year.
Overall Hancock is the big average movie of the summer, while funny and witty, the movie is also dull and sluggish. Will Smith just about rises this above mediocrity, but I'm afraid it's destined to be forgotten pretty quickly.