A heroic attempt that falls flat

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A heroic attempt that falls flat

There are all sorts of heroes. Some have spider-like powers, and others can become invisible or produce fire.

But no matter how unique they are, they have one thing in common: They always do the right thing.

However, John Hancock (Will Smith) doesn’t come from the usual hero mold.

We first see him lying on a bench drunk and disheveled, like a homeless person.

He doesn’t have a job, a secret identity or even a snazzy costume.

He doesn’t know where his powers came from or why he never ages. He seems to have no motivation to do good for people.

Worst of all, he’s a troublemaker. He’s constantly destroying city property with his drunken flying. There are hundreds of lawsuits pending against him.

He’s fallen out with the public to the extent that even children speak scathingly of him.

He does not mean any harm to anyone, but even when he’s out rescuing people, unfortunate things happen.

He saves Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), whose car is in danger of colliding with a train, but ends up causing a train wreck.

Hated superhero Hancock needs a complete image makeover. Luckily, Ray, who happens to be in PR, can help.

Hancock chucks his sneakers and shorts, and dons an awesome superhero costume. He starts saying “thank you” and gets a shave. People begin to love him.

The first half of the movie, which develops Hancock’s maverick hero image, is fresh and interesting.

Hero movies usually entertain us with tension which derive from the antagonistic relationship between a powerful villain and the righteous hero.

In contrast, the bad guys are not given a great deal of weight in the film, but we never miss them. Hancock’s character is entertaining enough.

So it’s too bad that the film takes a wrong direction about midway through, turning into a love drama.

When Hancock meets Ray’s wife Mary (Charlize Theron), she tells him a secret about himself. Unfortunately, as a plot twist it’s stale and rather boring.

We can tell that she knows something about Hancock from the first time they cross paths, as she treats him rather coldly.

So it’s hardly a surprise when she finally blurts out her big secret. And from that moment on, the movie switches from interesting character development to pure and predictable storytelling.

I was sorry that the movie took such a disappointing turn. It starts with great expectations but finishes with great disappointment.


Action, Comedy / English / 92 min.

Starring: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron

By Choi Jung-in Contributing Writer [estyle@joongang.co.kr]

Will Smith, left, plays a superhero with a bad attitude in “Hancock.” [MovieWeb]
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