HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  Hancock Stupor ManBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head, Eddie Marsan, David Mattey, Maetrix Fitten, Thomas Lennon, Johnny Galecki, Darrell Foster, Gregg Daniel, Liz Wicker, Hayley Marie Norman
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: A gang of criminals are making their getaway along this stretch of Los Angeles highway, with the police in hot pursuit, but the actions of the crooks who are firing automatic weapons are placing the public in danger. Meanwhile, across the city Hancock (Will Smith) is sleeping off his hangover on a bench until a small child wakes him up and tells him about the chase which he has seen on television. What can Hancock possibly do? He is actually a superhero, but not a very heroic one, and his attempts to restore law and order often end with carnage...

So the high concept for this one was apparently "Drunk Superman", not a bad idea as it went, but where it sounded like it should have been a comedy it played more like the filmmakers lost interest in a spoof halfway through and decided that they could make more money by tackling the notion as straightforwardly as possible. Even before we reached that point they lost faith in how entertaining a parody with Will Smith, a star known for his charm with comedy, would be, as for the first act or so this was more like a recruiting film for Alcoholics Anonymous, rendering it a very Hollywood take on the genre.

A very male, Hollywood executive take, that was, as while most superhero movies had their basis in comic books, this was an original idea thought up by screenwriter Vincent Ngo that was then rewritten by Vince Gilligan into the end result you can see today. The Ngo version was reputedly far more grim and hard edged, whereas this aims for the wacky, then cops out in favour of the deadly earnest, although Smith didn't look as if he was trying to secure laughs for most of it, being crumpled, unshaven, shambling and all those other things that denote a character letting his life go to pot. However, his drug of choice is alcohol, and he must fight a surprisingly easy to win battle with the bottle.

He does this through the belief a new friend has in him: public relations man Ray (Jason Bateman), who Hancock has saved from getting killed on a railway track. The film revels in the destructive manner in which the superpowered slob goes about this, so the effects budget mostly went on seeing things getting smashed up, just one of the reasons that Hancock finds an arrest warrant put out on him, but not before Ray persuades him to allow him to take care of his publicity campaign to set his standing as high as a superhero should be, and not as a nuisance who does more harm than good no matter what his intentions may be. Hancock appears to be carrying out his crimefighting more out of habit than civic duty.

This is going towards a more satirical take on the superhero style, not something that succeeds too well, but it is different unless you're aware of the far funnier and inventive The Tick, both in comics and on television. Yet the filmmakers lost interest in that when it became clear it was heading nowhere - nowhere that the effects budget couldn't rescue them at any rate, and there was a twist that substituted anything more thoughtful with a curious strain of action that had serious issues with women. There is only one female character of any importance in this, and she is Ray's wife Mary (Charlize Theron), characterised as a just the right side of shrewish until she goes onto the wrong side, as if the whole AA self-improvement theme was dropped in favour of "Why can't I do what I want and enjoy a drink or two, woman?!" They have yet another change of heart for the finale, but by then you'll be wondering if they had any idea of what they were saying. Music by John Powell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1503 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: