Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
At least twice. That is how many times folks who like Hancock will need and want to see it. At only an hour and a half this unique film about a wayward super hero packs in so much, action, character development, and spirit, that fans will want to see it again. Immediately.
Orginally titled “Tonight, He Comes” the script for Hancock floated around Hollywood for a decade. Then Sony took a chance on the film, and would have scored a homerun with the awesome and talented ensemble which includes box office buster Will Smith and talented beauty Charlize Theron, both of whom have never looked better, and Hancock’s really unheard of storyline. Had it not been for some “wrong choices” about the language in the film, who knows what might have happened.
And Sony knows it, that’s why in the trailer they have a little kid calling the Superhero a “Jackass”, but in the movie he is called an “Asshole” repeatedly by all of the main characters and several of the extras. Like a bad chord in a great tune, the cursing really taints the spirit of the film and will, without question be off- putting to some of the audience. As ”running lines” go, “Asshole” shouldn’t be one of them. Other foul words make very brief appearances, and each time it is totally, utterly and completely unnecessary.
That said, what’s not to love about these characters? A lot, but that does not prohibit the connection that they cast with the audience. Viewers want to know the details of this story and this motley crew is never predictable. Smith is the perfect choice as Hancock, Jason Bateman exhibited classic Bateman style as do gooder public relations pro, Ray Embrey and Theron, is Embrey’s protective wife Mary, Jae Head is Ray’s son Aaron. Head is more than a really cute kid, he comes across the screen as genuine, and not the overprotected child star type. The chemistry between all of the characters is just right. Now if only the person who decided on casting had more say about the dialogue.
When Ray’s life is saved by Hancock a wayward, drunk and misguided superhero, Embrey invites the infamous Hancock into his home for a meal. Much to Mary’s dismay, thus begins Ray’s campaign to change Hancock’s notorious image as the crass and destructive savior of the people to something kinder and with “heart”.
Initially, I questioned things you aren’t supposed to ask in a politically and racially charged climate like the one in which we currently reside. Why does one of the few African American Superheroes have to be portrayed as a rude, drunk, who curses and treats people, especially children, badly? Why does the African American Superhero have to go to jail and be a lawyer breaker? Why does this hero have to be hated, and taught manners by a barely successful public relations flak? And why does the ending have to be that ending? I don’t want to spoil the ending, I’m not into spoilers and have no clue why people do that. But once most of America see’s the film, the ending makes a socio-cultural statement about ‘sticking with your own kind’ that is also somewhat disturbing. That aside, and yes, it is a lot to ignore, the writers gave a passable excuse for all of the bad circumstances; an excuse that still does not resonate with my sense of right and wrong.
The film is humorous and passionate while remaining edgy, unpredictable, and unique, as are the action sequences. What will lose favor with the viewing audiences is something so correctable, it is a shame it wasn’t just fixed. It is the language. In all though, it would be a disgrace to miss Hancock. The film production, stunts and new take on a flying superhero is worth plugging your ears with your fingers a few times. Though it is a shame we have to do so.
Without question this film will most likely become a series, but instead of a sequel, I for one would like to call for a prequel, because Hancock has had what sounds like a full and exciting life prior to the one we are shown. And when Hancock comes back for next film, hopefully someone will wash the screenwriter’s mouth out with bar soap.