July 1, 2008, - 10:37 am

Mid-Week Box Office: “Hancock”

By Debbie Schlussel
I have mixed feelings about “Hancock,” the only new release at theaters, this week. The big-budget Will Smith movie that begins at 12:01 a.m., Tonight, begins strong, but finishes “eh.” It’s no “Independence Day.” Not even close.
We see action, literally, from the opening sequence. It’s exciting and funny to see John Hancock (Smith), a bungling, loser superhero built in the Dennis Rodman mode. Yes, he saves people. But Los Angelenos aren’t appreciative, because in the course of events, he destroys buildings, ruins property, and costs the city millions in collapsed highways and infrastructure. And he’s an unkempt drunk.
Even L.A.’s police chief wants Hancock out. He tells the media it would be better if the destructive superhero went to New York to do his bid’ness. It’s far more entertaining than a similar storyline in “Superman III,” when Superman becomes a bad, bumbling, drunk and screw-up.

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That’s the funny part. It’s an interesting angle to see a housewife opposed to the idea of her husband bringing a superhero home for dinner. Can you imagine anyone turning down a dinner date with Superman?
In this case, the husband in question is a smarmy, annoying PR man, Ray (Jason Bateman). We see him BS-ing corporate America, trying to force them to adopt his stupid “All Heart” emblem–a throwback to Bono’s failed “Red” campaign. No-one’s buying.
So when Ray’s car is stuck on a railroad track, and Hancock saves him, Ray wants to return the favor by remaking the image of this Bad-Boy superhero, having this superhero take anger management and counseling. At first, that’s entertaining, too. For a second.
Then, it gets dull. A clean-cut Hancock in a gay-looking black superhero outfit is boring. So, the movie begins other stories, and it becomes a mishmash. There’s the dynamic between Smith and Ray’s wife, Charlize Theron (the real-life pro-Castro bitch). We learn big news about her that changes everything into literally a second, separate movie and completely different storyline.
Then, after that, there’s a sudden emergence of a substandard criminal Hancock put away. The guy–without any character development–suddenly pops up out of nowhere as Hancock’s chief nemesis. Suddenly, Hancock’s now vulnerable to human harm. Not believable, since Hancock was immune from bullets and pain. And he conveniently switches back and forth on that.
At an hour-and-a-half, this movie is the perfect length. Not too long, and a lot packed in. It’s not that I’m against this movie or was bothered by it. It’s quite entertaining. It’s just that it’s not a great movie. It’s okay. Not July-4th-Big-Holiday-Weekend-Box-Office-Worthy.
While there’s nothing extremely objectionable, I gotta object to the fact this movie is being marketed to kids as a superhero movie, when it’s full of four-letter words, including several where little kids utter them. Aww, isn’t that cute. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to think. And toward the end, it’s a little too bloody and violent for kids. I could have also done without the disgusting vision of a man’s head literally up the butt of another man’s. Was this really necessary? That goes in the category of TMV (Too Much Visual). Ditto for the constant panning of the camera over a Woodstock poster. Gag.
I also need to remind readers of the fact that Will Smith recently praised Hitler. Then, last week, Smith pulled a Michelle Hussein Obama, telling NBC’s Matt Lauer, on the “Today” show, that now that Barack Obama looks like he’s going to be President, it’s a good thing to be an American abroad, whereas before, it wasn’t. Then, there is that tax-funded Scientology charter school he and the wife founded. More on that later.
Frankly, I prefer the Bad Boy Bungling Superhero, “Hancock,” to the real-life Will Smith. Hancock destroys buildings. Smith destroys brain cells. Shut up and act.
ONE-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
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2 Responses

[I also need to remind readers of the fact that Will Smith recently praised Hitler.]
He did not and said so:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/25/people.willsmith.ap/index.html
” ‘It is an awful and disgusting lie,’ Smith said in a statement Monday provided by his publicist. ‘It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation.’
‘Adolf Hitler was a vile, heinous vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet,’ read the statement.”
[Frankly, I prefer the Bad Boy Bungling Superhero, “Hancock,” to the real-life Will Smith. Hancock destroys buildings. Smith destroys brain cells. Shut up and act.]
Smith can say whatever the fcuk he wants. It’s still a free country, ain’t it?
[NB: THAT’S WHAT HE SAID, AFTER HE GOT CAUGHT AND NEEDED TO DO DAMAGE CONTROL. NO-ONE SAID HE CAN SAY WHATEVER HE WANTS. SO CAN I, INCLUDING THAT I WANT HIM TO SHUT UP AND ACT. IT’S FREE SPEECH FOR ALL OF US, DUDE. DS]

Norman Blitzer on July 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm

“Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’ ”
I don’t see how this is praise for Hitler. All it’s saying is that people are extraordinarily skilled at convincing themselves that they’re good people. Exactly what part of this sentence do you disagree with?
Do you believe that Hitler woke up every day and said, “Yes, another day of evil for me! I’m so evil!” That almost certain wasn’t what Hitler thought. Humans are too good at rationalizing away their faults.
I’m not seeing what it is about Will Smith’s statement that you interpret to mean “Hitler is basically good.”

LibertarianBulbasaur on July 2, 2008 at 12:18 am

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