Hancock (Peter Berg, 2008)

Having watch one too many superhero movies these few years (not that I complain though), it’s refreshing to see an unconventional superhero movie.
Will Smith played John Hancock, as the obnoxious superhero who always “saves the day” with a heavy price. Unlike Superman and Iron Man, he can fly at supersonic speed without a cape or an iron suit. The problem is his landing, he will smash uncontrollably into the ground (feet first of course), therefore damaging the roads. He got super strength, invulnerable, can easily thwart robbery attempt, but along the process, causing public millions dollar in damages. He is cocky, he lived like a bum, he drinks like a fish. Above all, he is the most hated person in the city.

One day, he saved Ray from train accident, he is a Public Relation consultant played by Jason Bateman. To return the favour to Hancock, Ray managed to convince him to change his public image to a likeable superhero. Ray’s wife is played by the stunningly beauty, Charlize Theron.

About halfway through the movie, the story dramatically change it course from a comedic superhero theme to a likeness of Greek myth, the relationship of the married god and goddess - Zeus and Hera. Never a movie has divide the story in half so evidently, in fact watching it remind me of Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket or Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. But to discuss the second half of Hancock without spoiling anything seems like an uphill task, once again, all I can say is: it
is reminiscent of Zeus and Hera, the god and goddess in Greek Myth.
The movie defies the traditional superhero versus supervillain plot, think of Man of Steel versus arch nemesis Lex Luthor. Kudos to the script writer for avoiding such cliché and the movie studio for having balls to finance the movie.

As usual, the charismatic Will Smith carries the movie almost on his own. He may act like jerk, but deep inside he is a sympathetic lonely person who has no memory of his past. One of the earliest memories he has, is when he was discharged from the hospital (after suffered from amnesiac), the nurse asked him to put down his “John Hancock” on the discharge note, and he thought his name is John Hancock! Curiously, I notice the movie director, Peter Berg (of The Kingdom fame) choose to portray the actor/actress’ face in close-up shots countless of times.

***Heavy spoiler ahead*** The ending is rather weak, suggesting that the original script was revised to a clearly forced happy ending. I would prefer it ended with the demise of either Hancock or his partner, Mary, hence create a stand out, downbeat ending just like a tragic Greek myth *wink* ***End of heavy spoiler***

bullet point summary:
- it’s a refreshing, non-traditional superhero movie;
- the plot split into half, akin to Full Metal Jacket;
- Will Smith is likeable as usual; - The words “John Hancock” is a metaphor of a person’s signature. Example: I need you to put down your John Hancock on these legal documents.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List