Well, I went and saw the new Will Smith movie Hancock, on the weekend and I am ready to offer my two cents worth on this new Will Smith film. First off, I want to warn you that my comments will include some spoiler-ish stuff, so - be forewarned!
Obviously, I have been discussing this movie regularly over the last little while so you know I have been looking forward to it. Admittedly it is a Summer movie and there is that 'popcorn factor' to take into account. This movie is largely Summer fluff, but it is fun Summer fluff. Storywise, the Hancock movie starts off with a pretty straightforward premise: the daily life of a down on his luck, homeless and alcoholic superhero. This is something different and the director (Peter Berg) makes the most of it without going into 'preachy' territory. we quickly get the gist of the Hancock character's motivation and why he is the way he is. Will Smith doesn't have a lot of characterization to work with but does the most with what he is given. Unfortunately, too often his character is made to rely on recurring cliches to develop his character, such as the recurring idea that he doesn't take being called an "asshole" very well, or trying too hard to remember instructions (the phrase 'good job' becomes annoying after awhile).
Charlize Theron: Okay, I went out on a limb earlier and made some predictions about her character in this movie based on spoiler photos on the web and from the latest Hancock movie trailer itself. I predicted that her character would turn out to actually have super powers and that she would turn out to be the villain of the film. Soooo .... I was half or even three quarters right on this one; Yes She did end up having powers like Hancock himself, and yes she was in some ways an adversary for Hancock in at least a part of the film, but No , she did not turn out to be the main villain of the flick. Actually the 'villain' of the flick ends up being merely a throw away minor character who really only matters because he is put into a situation where he could actually do some damage to a superman like character having a really bad day.
Justin Bateman: His character was both interesting and frustrating at the same time. He was interesting playing a Public Relations rep with a heart (in more ways than one, actually). His idealism is intriguing, but at the same time he seems almost too oblivious to other people's perceptions of things as well as to the events going on around him until they are literally dumped in his face. Only because Bateman pulls off this kind of character so well was his character bearable.
Visually, the movie is mostly stunning and worth seeing in the theater, but the opening car chase scene came off (at least for me and my fiance) too much as a video game, with the CGI being a little too fuzzy for abig budget movie. In fact, this scene was the one that was only briefly seen in the earliest trailers and more fully only in the later trailers, making me think that it was a b*tch of a scene to nail down and was one of the things that was rumoured to be still being worked on right up to the premier date.
The film eventually tries to bring in some rather high handed concepts of pseudo-Mythology andReligion in the last half that had me thinking, "Wow, too much plot intoduced with too little time to fully flesh it out." Oh well, perhaps it is the makings of a future summer sequel; In fact it may have set itself up for future sequels ala Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. Or then again, if it should give us another Evan Almighty, maybe it would be best if it was just a one off...