Jul 02, 2008|
Category IIA. Movie trailers can be misleading. For instance, the trailer for “Hancock” would have you believe it’s a dark satire of the comic-book genre, a wry look at a homeless superhero who drunkenly stumbles from one chaos-fueled disaster to the next. And it is—for about 15 minutes, before it quickly unspools into the clichéd genre trappings it was meant to lampoon.
Hancock (Smith) is an asshole, a superhero bum who does more harm than good. Enter a public relations professional who helps him clean up his act and yay, he’s a normal superhero again. But wait, what’s this? The PR’s wife (Theron) is also a superhero—and what? They’re actually angels? And they’ve been lovers for thousands of years but Hancock can’t remember because he has amnesia and if they get close to each other they lose their powers? And some bank robber wants to kill them but Hancock leaves the city and everything’s OK again?
What just happened? Attempting a dozen plot threads in the short span of just 90 minutes, “Hancock” feels like a patchwork job sewn together by a sweat shop of funny-book obsessed monkeys. But in truth, it’s the work of two writers unsure what kind of comic-book blockbuster they wanted (spoof, sitcom, mythological, realistic, romantic), who decided it best to toss it all into a giant melting pot, where the elements soon decomposed into one ugly brown mass.
Rumors abound that “Hancock” (originally titled the much more precarious “Tonight, He Comes”) was a lot more risque during test screenings, with instances of suicide attempts and super-ejaculations. But with scenes of child torture and anal intrusion still intact, one wonders whether anyone involved in this fiasco knew exactly what kind of film they wanted to make.