Monday, July 7, 2008

Dart Adams presents The Dartflix Film Review: Hancock

I decided that today I would write a review for the film "Hancock" because when next Tuesday rolls around I should have a review for "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" ready to go. I wondered if I should do a review that doesn't have any spoilers but then I realized that a review for this flick that doesn't actually discuss what happened in it is pretty much useless. Since this blockbuster pulled in $107 million at the box office (US only!) in just 5 days and it's budget was around $120 million I'd wager that enough people saw it that I don't need to write shit like *SPOILERS!* all over the place.

Hancock is a movie that seems to be about a superhero that has a drinking problem, is a complete asshole and he lives in California where he also causes considerable collateral damage every time he tries to "help". This is due to the fact that he feels obligated to do something just because he can (yunno...superpowers and all). Since he really doesn't give a fuck either way he half asses and ends up making things worse in most cases.

His fellow Angelinos hate his guts and Hancock resents them for forcing him to be their de facto hero/savior. Hancock doesn't even know where he came from or his real name. He feels isolated and alone in the world. All he wants to do is stay lifted off the liquor and lay on park benches, then these jackasses scream to be saved and have the nerve to bitch when he does it. How about a "Thank you" you inconsiderate fucks?

Then along comes an idealistic PR guy who dreams of saving the world (Jason Bateman) who Hancock saves one day (but true to form he fucks it up) and he invites him over to the crib for dinner. As soon as Hancock lays eyes on homies' wife (Charlize Theron) it's on. At dinner, it's clear that the PR guy has designs on helping Hancock connect with the people of Los Angeles by repairing his damaged public image while his wife wants Hancock to just bounce as soon as bloody possible (is it his moustache and goatee?). Hancock just wants to get tore down like a Cam'ron poster off an 18 year old's wall.

I thought to myself. Is this going to end up another one of those heartwarming ebony and ivory buddy films? Is Hancock going to learn how to be human from the White guy as opposed to having the Magical Negro role this time around? Will Hancock learn to love from this family and ultimately find his way? Not so much. Hancock has caused so much collateral damage and injured so many people that there is a warrant out for his arrest.

The PR guy, let's call him Ray (cuz that's his name) convinces Hancock to turn himself in to the police and go to jail. The thinking is that with him locked up soon Los Angeles will realize that they need him out on the street fighting crime. This may be the first time in the history of film a Black man gets locked up on purpose so that people will realize that they really need him ("Lean On Me" doesn't count).

Hancock goes to jail and through repeated visits from Ray and his wife, let's call her Mary (cuz that's her name) Hancock eventually begins to change his act and realize that with great power comes great responsibility (no Ben Parker). After being locked up in the bing for a few weeks the LAPD decide to let Hancock out (the one Black man that can't beat up or shoot to death) and have him handle a situation for them. Hancock goes and gets the job done because now he cares (and he's sober).

Sporting his new "not threatening to Middle America" makeover (and a crime fighting uniform he got from Ray) he becomes the hottest new celebrity in L.A. Now that Hancock has become beloved by his fellow citizens and he's finally embraced being a hero he can try to get his life on track, right? I mean, he isn't getting drunk all the time any more. He isn't destroying half the city doing one simple task and most importantly he shaved his facial hair. What else does a brother fresh out the joint gotta do to prove that he's for real?

Just when you think that this movies about to take a turn you'd expect it goes halfway and then it kinda fucks your head up with a rash of new developments. Aw fuck it, it turns out that Mary has been trying to keep Hancock at arm's length the whole film because it turns out that she's just like him, a superbeing. I'll spare you the full origin but she's been living a lie in domestic bliss with Ray and his son for years. She was originally Hancock's girl before he lost his memory *SPOILERS!* (LOL) The second he showed up at their front door she knew that there would be some serious problems.

Apparently in the 3000 years they spent together they kept getting attacked by people for whatever reason. In the 1850's their house got burned down and he had to pull her out of it. In 1931, they got jumped by a mob and they beat Hancock's head in. When they took homie to the hospital they wouldn't let her ride in the ambulance with him. Read into that what you want about how people in general felt about interracial relationships before...well, the 90's (if you're not laughing right now...).

This movie wasn't the stereotypical "superhero" movie/comedy/summer blockbuster and it at least attempted to do some different things (not without some hula hoop sized plotholes). The end of the film went a different direction from what I expected and it opened up a bunch of interesting questions (interpret that however you want) that people have been debating over at the Hancock IMDb boards for the last 6 days. I give this flick a mos def and I suspect folks will be arguing about it at bus stops and barber shops for a minute.



Anonymous said...

which IMDB discussion are you talkin about? theres quite a few on there...

Dart Adams said...

Dude, flip through the first 50 pages and enjoy the ride. It's Nutso off the roof insane on those boards right now.


brandon said...

Nice. I was on the fence about this one but hearing how the movie unfolds actually makes me want to see it a lot. Can't wait for Hellboy 2 though. I may go at like 11 in the morning on Friday to see that shit.

Anonymous said...

dart, how is it that will's character even gets an ambulance after a mugging? with a white woman at his side? in the 1920s?

another vein: what has he done since that time? to be all that he is and black, to live through all mentionable events and not have a hand at averting some mishaps, because of the liq?

i wish will would do more with these roles.

Dart Adams said...

@ wilson:

They kept saying "80 years ago" to round up because Frankenstein first premiered in 1931. Either way, I wager that he was taken to a crappy hospital but either way there'd be no way they allow a White woman to ride with him back in those days.

People have been discussing this flick nonstop for a week now. It was the top story on Yahoo for hours yesterday.



vincentlopez said...

That was just a normal little summer action flick. I think Hellboy 2 will be much better.