Movie Review: Hancock

Hancock: (After kicking a car in front of a train) “All of you people, blocking the intersection, you’re all idiots.”

Large woman: “Why didn’t you just go straight up in the air with the car? You’ve obviously injured that poor woman.  She should sue you!”

Hancock: “Okay, well, you should sue McDonald’s, lady!”


Hancock posterBeing resigned to the fact that the majority of my reviews are out of date, I’ve accepted the fact that most people have long since forgotten about this movie. Which is a shame, because it’s quite a good film, and even if you don’t read any further of this post, I’d definitely recommend you go see it. For those who do read, I should note this review is spoiler-free.

For those unfamiliar with the setup of this movie: Will Smith stars as Hancock, a superhero who’s a little…unorthodox. Since he’s immortal and can’t be injured, he usually saves the day by destroying things or throwing criminals’ cars across the city. He also is exceptionally rude to everyone and is drunk more often than not. To top it off, he has a tendency to yell at people after saving them, as with the conversation at the top of this article.

The plot kicks off when Hancock saves a family man, Ray Embry, who wants to help Hancock turn his life around and become a law-abiding superhero. But this is only the start, because Hancock has a mysterious connection to Ray’s family…a connection explaining where Hancock came from in the first place.

I know, it sounds awesome. Trust me, it is.

I first saw this in the middle of 8th grade, during a car tip with my scout troop up to our annual February campout I blogged about a few weeks ago. That was four years ago, and a few snow days ago, I decided it was time for a re-watch.

The kind of people who will enjoy this movie: the ones who like action comedies. That’s the movie’s main platform, even if it brings in surprisingly well-done drama during its second half. It has the action comedy feel of the film The Rundown, probably because both were directed by the same person. That being said, the battles and the jokes are strong enough that even if you’re only a fan of one of the two, this movie is worth it.

What I liked: well, the jokes were pretty hilarious, as was Will Smith in delivering them. Even more than Will Smith, though, is the excellent Charlize Theron. Her role in the movie doesn’t seem significant until later, but the scene between her and Hancock in the hospital is my favorite part of the entire film.

What I disliked: well, the movie isn’t Earth-shattering. It doesn’t stay in your memory or leave you talking about it weeks after (though I’m not one to judge, I’m here talking about it four years after). It’s basically one of those wow-that-was-good-now-let’s-move-on flicks. And a solid one at that.

And, without getting into details, the movie has a thoughtful conclusion. There are few things that irk me more than a good, enjoyable film with a loose or careless ending. This one wastes no time on sentiments—there are only a few minutes between the climactic battle and the credits, but those few minutes wrap everything up nicely.

In conclusion: If you like action and/or comedy, see this movie. It won’t leave your mind reeling, but it’ll surprise you with the quality packed into its ninety minutes. Its strong cast doesn’t disappoint in injecting the consistent laughs and, later on, surprisingly deep emotion.

Rate: 7 out of 10.