Hancock is one of the more unconventional super hero movies among the slew of “unconventional” super hero movies of the year and we certainly had many. One thing that distinguishes it from others is the focus on individual psychology and the unique cinematography. It’s also a rare movie in that it’s not based on a comic book hero with a rich mythology spanning decades like most other movies. This is both an asset and liability.
The movie’s hero is Hancock, a virtually homeless and alcoholic super hero, with an attitude and anger management problem hated no matter what heroic deed he does. Will Smith’s acting shows all kinds of dimensions of hurt, insolence, vulnerability, and finally courage. Just as public outrage at Hancock’s antics reaches its peak he happens to save a struggling PR man, pitching an unrealistic “All Heart” donation program to big corporations, from getting hit by a train.
Jason Bateman really shines as a smooth-talking PR guy who can pitch trash to the homeless. He does such a convincing job you have a hard time believing he is really an actor.
Hancock is drawn to Bateman’s family, both his hot wife played by Charlize Theron and their guileless son (the only kid who takes a genuine liking to Hancock).
Then the plot takes a really weird turn and the movie never quite comes back but the ending redeems the entire movie and I found it quite touching. When you have the kind of talent shown by Smith, Theron, and Bateman you can carry any film as long as the script is decent or leaves good room for interpretation by the actors.