Hero or Zero?
Review by Ross Anthony

Despite my feeling that Will Smith was miscast, Hancock won me over in the first half. Smith does a fine job, it's just that we know with certainty that he's a softy from his previous roles -- and in interviews. This hardened, drunken, seemingly uncaring, superhero would have been better served by an actor we were less sure of. As "Hancock" warms, Smith becomes better cast.

That said, it's really Jason Bateman that deserves great praise. He's not only perfectly cast, but brings to this otherwise somewhat confused production a deep sense of direction and emotional immediacy -- and he's hilarious to boot. I give an A+ to Jason Bateman.

The story brings us a crisp fresh look at the superhero film. It also brings a caring careful script with a good heart, but all of that changes about midway. A rather unsettling scene occurs -- so unsettling, it looks like filmmakers actually truncated it, edited it nearly out. In any case, that scene could have been handled better and sold to audiences despite its bitterness. But the film failed it and, I guess, tried to fix by cutting. Anyway, I would have forgiven the error, but the moment becomes pivotal instead of simply deviant. This is the point at which the film stops being a fresh engaging story of courage, belief and friendship and becomes a somewhat stale superhero tale. That beautifully crafted emotive arc becomes bent out of shape.

"Hancock" is two films jammed together. The first part, I may even give an "A." But the second part is clearly a B movie. I'll average only to a B+ because of my high hopes that were dashed. It would have worked much better had they developed the first half into the full feature it deserved to be -- then saved that unsetting moment and beyond for the sequel.


-- Books by author/illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Hancock. Copyright © 2008.
  • Starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron, Eddie Marsan, Directed by Peter Berg. Screenplay by Vy Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan. Produced by Akiva Goldsman, Michael Mann, Will Smith, James Lassiter.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop
Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 16-Jul-2008 15:45:23 PDT