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Hancock – Movie Review

July 13, 2008

If Hancock had been a Bollywood movie the critics would have trashed it and given it one star. Maybe I am exaggerating, because the technical finesse in Hancock was evident and if present in a Bollywood movie, critics might have gasped. But the movie has to have something more. Some good action perhaps? After all this movie is supposed to an “Action” movie!

What’s it about? (no spoilers)
The idea itself is a wonderful one – about a superhero (Hancock, played by Will Smith) who has personality problems. It’s an idea that could have been taken to great heights but this was a case where the idea ended here. The only heights that it went to was showing Hancock take off like a rocket into the sky.

Yet, the beginning is alright, although we have to turn a blind eye to Will Smith’s continuous pouting (which we are supposed to believe is the demeanour of a disgruntled soul). Charlize Theron plays the female lead and after seeing her expressions when she meets Hancock, we think the movie is going somewhere.

Unfortunately, the story unfolds into a silly tale which a five year old could have imagined better. The story reminded me of C grade movie where events happen in quick succession without the director taking the trouble to build up to it. I usually don’t like flashbacks, but this was a movie where a flashback was sorely needed as we have to imagine what happened through a few sentences thrown our way by one of the protagonists. The story also reminded me of a convoluted television soap where the director who has started off with a grand idea has no idea what to do next.

If a Hindi movie had had a story like this our critics would have torn it apart. But the Times of India has given the movie three and a half stars! That confused me.

In its home market, America, the critics have rated it below average although the movie opened well for two reasons. Because it released on the 4th of July, a holiday weekend, and second, because of Will Smith’s star presence. It might interest you to know that “every Will Smith movie has been a hit or smash, earning at least $100 million in North America and another $100 million or more abroad. Sometimes lots more.”

Will Smith is a star that directors consider “bankable” and that is something that we in India our familiar with as our Bollywood directors often use the same tactic – bankable stars and a bankrupt storyline.
If I had to draw any sort of conclusion about the movie I would say it’s time pass, if at all. The special effects are kind of cute and Smith is kind of cute too. But forget trying to make any sense of the movie!

(p.s. I wasn’t going to post today (even though I saw the movie last night) but then I thought I would write a quick review as I guess a review needs to be done on the week-end it is released)

Related Reading: Review of Jaane Tu…Jaane Na
Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic review
Aamir – Review
De Taali – Review
Sarkar Raj – Review
The Dark Knight – Review
Other Movie Reviews (English and Hindi movies)

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2008 11:15 am

    One of my friend staying in U.S. told me that its just a timepass movie. That is why the TOI ratings confused me too. But I guess its not worth seeing then. Another movie which couldn’t live up to its promo.
    Promos can be really misleading now a days. :)

  2. July 13, 2008 11:55 am

    its been more than 2 months since i saw any movie…and reading reviews upon reviews,i think nothing is suitable to watch :) might be i should get tickets for Dashavataram..

  3. July 13, 2008 1:26 pm

    well , bollywood would take another 50 years to take a movie like that..
    sepcially with special effects which bollywood lack . :P

    i would prabably see this movie next week just for the superhero storyline and willsmith..
    wat else do u need to entertain urself for 2 hours :P

  4. July 13, 2008 5:05 pm

    Amit, its okay to kill time you know. Its not that bad, but if you go with less expectations you might even like it!

    Vishesh, 2 months is a long time!! But then it depends what you love doing..

    Arvind, I know what you mean. I saw it for the same reason although someone had told me its bad. I love superhero movies!

  5. Ravi permalink
    July 13, 2008 6:31 pm

    I regret for losing one and half hour of valuable time in my life.

  6. July 13, 2008 7:20 pm

    Friends say that there is nothing big in this movie. The is movie is running just coz Will Smith is there. Let me see whether I can go for it… or may be I should wait until the DVD’s are out…
    But anyways… Nice review.. :)

  7. vishal12 permalink
    July 14, 2008 5:44 am

    I am gonna wait for the DVD release. I watched Wall-E this weekend, and LOVED it. If you haven’t watched it, you should check it out.

  8. July 14, 2008 8:54 am

    I watched this yesterday, and I was a bit disappointed. If your expectations from a movie are low, then this will be time-pass, surely. Even Jaane Tu was just that. There was absolutely NO story worth the name in it. The rest of it was technically good, but where was the plot?

  9. July 14, 2008 12:07 pm

    Now u mentioned it, I realised what was missing. Flashback. Few minutes of flashback could have done much better. Also I still don’t understand how no one seemed to retort at racket that lady and hancock made when they were fighting!!!

  10. July 14, 2008 1:52 pm

    hey thanks for the review

    i thought it was like a lagaan theam underdog becoming hero thing – but the promo videos also made me think otherwise

  11. July 14, 2008 5:45 pm

    Finally, I watched ‘I am legend’ on DVD. and I did not like it.
    1.5 hours of err…. nothing.
    Thankfully I did not watch it at the multiplexes.

    So I will get this on DVD as well. or is it worth DVD watching?

  12. July 14, 2008 6:02 pm

    Ravi, Joel, thanks for responding!

    vishal12, thanks for that recommendation

    Rdoc, if I had to rate both those movies, I would give Hancock half star and jaane tu three. thats because ideas don’t make movies. Good execution even of an oft used idea can make for good entertainment.

    Suda, the whole thing was ridiculous!

    Prax, you are welcome.

    Xylene, naah! unless you like will smith and superhero movies. its a stupid movie with a good movie star!

  13. July 14, 2008 6:20 pm

    Thanks for the review. I would now watch it on TV , as it will be soon aired, instead of going into theater, that will save few hundreds bucks. :)

  14. July 15, 2008 3:02 am

    I havent seen the movie, although i liked the trailer. But the thanks for the heads up. It is also interesting to note Will Smith is bankable.

  15. soorajrox permalink
    July 15, 2008 12:40 pm

    The only reason people go on to watch this movie is that 1) is a super hero movie 2) super hero in a crisis(everybody likes that) 3)Will Smith.
    But then we have to remind ourselves of who made the movie. Peter Berg. Peter Berg is no raconteur. All his movies lack the “goodness” of a screenplay.

  16. ulag permalink
    July 15, 2008 7:08 pm

    This movie was indeed disappointing. The first half was good and was as promising as the trailers made it out to be. Unfortunately the second half was banal. The movie itself is short ( 90 mins) and to top that it loses fizz after the first half. It follows the pattern of Will Smiths previous venture “I am Legend”, where the concept is exciting, but the story isn’t built up as well as it could have been. But surprisingly both movies received good box office openings.
    Next looking forward to Kung Fu Panda. It looks promising with some stunning visuals and a simple storyline supported by a wide variety of stars( Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Angelina Jolie) using their vocal talents.

  17. July 15, 2008 9:32 pm

    JV, but my 200 bucks is gone!!

    Dineshbabu, yep, he is what many will go to see!

    Soorajrox, true, the idea of a superhero with a personality problem is intriguing. But yeah, Peter Berg is no hot shot.

    Ulag, long time no see! the first half was promising because one felt something interesting will happen but it never did! I don’t know about kung fu panda…but I am looking forward to Contract.

  18. July 16, 2008 1:48 am

    Thanks for the review.

    Not watching it. BTW, Rediff dissed it, too: 2 stars and a bad review. Overall bad reviews.

    Will Smith — I think he’s cute ;) and he does have a couple of brilliant performances to his credit– is like our Akshay Kumar: bad movies but superhits :)

    Well, looks like Rediff had some sense. Yes overall globally there have been bad reviews but in India two major newspapers gave it a decent review. I have no idea why! And Will Smith compared to Akshaye! Good comparison! – Nita.

  19. July 21, 2008 10:43 pm

    The only reason I sat through it was Will Smith. I have to say that I enjoyed I am Legend though…

  20. coolkhush permalink
    January 7, 2009 9:00 pm

    i think we cant compare it with ant hindi movie its no way similar and hancock is a vrey good movie as compaed to any hindi flick ………

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