Before Marvel really geared up and DC stumbled out of the gate, there was Hancock – the superhero movie we didn’t know we needed. It faded quickly in obscurity because it wasn’t the typical Will Smith family friendly sort of fare. Crude and violent, this is more the style of Garth Ennis than Stan Lee.
Hancock is a superhero with that’s called F.I.S.S. (courtesy of Aaron Williams) – Flight, Invulnerability, Speed, Strength. The basic package of superheroes. He also comes with abysmal P.R., alcoholism and a bad attitude. While he’s not as bad as The Plutonian from Irredeemable, he’s certainly no DC Comics mainstay.
The real treat to this movie is that it takes a somewhat realistic look at the notion of “what society giveth, society taketh away”. Cancel Culture is older than you think. While Hancock’s struggle to improve himself is fun to watch, it should also point out that sometimes we lend our always-on, celebrity litmus test too much credence. However, I think this one theme is lost in the mythology of the movie, but it’s fine. The overall message of anyone can be redeemed if they work hard enough. Sadly, even this message might get missed in the face of Hancock’s initial crudity.
I would have liked to seen this movie expanded upon. The mythology is nice, and makes sense when fully explained. The writing is good from Vince Gilligan (Lloyd C. Bird alum!) and Vincent Ngo. The direction and camera work are a little shaky, but its a lot better than other films I’ve seen from the same year. It made the budget back and actually earned a profit, but the critical and moviegoer panning didn’t help to get this a sequel.
Much like a lot of films I own, this one is a good movie to turn your brain off to and just laugh. There are some redeeming messages, but not regarding them doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. Give it a whirl.