starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman and Jae Head
written by Vy Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan
directed by Peter Berg
This is the first of two movies featuring Charlize Theron that I watched recently. It’s a fun movie, but pretty silly. I love Jason Bateman. He’s not a leading actor so much as a supporting actor. But he has a kind of Jack-Lemony Everyman thing going. Maybe it’s the way he walks, or talks, or maybe its all about the kinds of characters he plays. With Jack Lemon it was the stooped way he held his shoulders (the result of a spinal injury suffered in the U.S. Navy during WWII, I heard), and the way he moved his head and hands while speaking overly fast. Bateman is quieter than Lemon, but the way he moves radiates a similar feeling of a middle aged guy weighed down by job, family, taxes and mortgage worries.
Anyway,Hancock is about Will Smith, not Jason Bateman. Hancock is an acknowledged superhero. But he’s gone to seed, a wino whose unappreciated attempts to help people wreck havoc in society and generate ill will. He reminded me of Detective John Spartan played by Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man. John Spartan was infamous for destroying everything while catching the bad guys, sort of like Hancock. Like John Spartan, Hancock goes to prison for it. But it’s silly really. As a superhero no prison can hold him. He goes voluntarily on the advice of his publicity agent, Bateman, who offers his services as a media consultant. Superheroes should be heroic and revered, not despised. He needs a bath, a shave, a uniform, and maybe a catchphrase or logo as well. He needs some time away from society so that maybe society will appreciate him more.
It’s not a great movie. But there are some interesting things, the greatest of which is an exposition of who superheroes are and why they are indestructible.