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July 6, 2008

Yesterday I managed to see Hancock, the new Will Smith movie, in which he plays an alcoholic, antisocial superhero, who does more bad than good when he tries to help his fellow man. John Hancock has super strength, super speed and the ability to fly, but on his vigilante “rescue missions” he manages to constantly destroy more of the city around him than he actually rescues. This however will all change when he saves the life of Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), a PR spokesman, who was about to get hit by an oncoming train. Ray is grateful for the rescue and convinces Hancock to take responsibility for his rampages through town, in order to change his image, much to the dislike of his wife Mary (Charlize Theron), who thinks that the superhuman is just a jerk, who will never change and only cares for himself. Ray helps Hancock to turn himself into what he should be, a genuine superhero.

When I had first seen the trailer, I thought this might be an enjoyable movie, heavy on comedic relief and probably less focusing on traditional superhero lore. After I saw the movie yesterday I was however positively surprised, as this turned out to be a real origin story of a new hero. The movie establishes, who Hancock is, and why he behaves the way he does, while still setting up enemies and allies. It is of course a less sinister take on the whole “lonesome hero” mythos and Will Smith really helps to lighten the mood, but the movie still manages to have a fair share of believable dramatic moments.

For all of you, who are still planning to see this movie, let me say this: Don’t read a summary of the story, because you will probably spoil yourself a big surprise. That’s all I am going to divulge on that subject. I really liked the movie and I think Hancock is an interesting hero with an interesting past. If this was a comic, there would probably be a ton of sequels to the story as it is, as I previously mentioned, only an introduction to a new superhero. They could have done with a few less running gags and the product placement was also a bit blatant, but in conclusion I really have to say that I liked the movie. I hope you will too.

Hancock on Rotten Tomatoes

Hancock on IMDB

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