Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Official Variety Magazine 'Hancock' Review!

This came in a little earlier than expected. I guess we can call it the first "official" review of Hancock.

Thanks to Sergio for the email heads-up!

Based on what the reviewer states below, the blog entry I posted about the film last week - the one with the spoilers - isn't too far off in accuracy and perspective. Also, this review agrees with the overwhelmingly negative sentiment amongst those who've already seen the film in some form.

Despite all of that, I still think the film will do well - or at the very least, it'll have a strong opening weekend. What it does after that depends greatly on word of mouth, because it will face some stiff competition in the weeks after its release from the likes of the next Batman movie and a few other notables. So, its opening weekend will be crucial.

Will it make its budget back? Probably! At an incredible $150 Million, it'll be a tall order, even for Will Smith. With marketing costs included, that number will likely be closer to $200 Million. But one thing Will has going for him is his popularity in foreign markets. So, even if the film flops in the States, it could do very well internationally.

Here's Variety's review by Todd McCarthy:

An intriguing high concept is undermined by low-grade dramaturgy in “Hancock.” This misguided attempt to wring a novel twist on the superhero genre has a certain whiff of “The Last Action Hero” about it, with Will Smith playing an indestructible crime-buster in a pointedly real-world context. Although it will inevitably open very large, this odd and perplexing aspiring tentpole will provide a real test of Smith’s box office invincibility.

The central idea of Vy Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan’s script -- of Smith’s John Hancock being an ornery, unwilling hero who escapes from his ordained role in life via booze and general cantankerousness -- is amusing and plausible enough to sustain the first section of the film. What the writers and director Peter Berg do with the concept in the end, however, is nowhere near sufficiently thought out, and narrative illogic and missed opportunities plague the film increasingly as it cartwheels through its surprisingly brief running time.

When the world-famous Hancock reluctantly swings into action -- he can fly at supersonic speed, lift any weight and is impervious to all weapons -- his drunken recklessness invariably causes more damage than it’s worth.

Although valuable to the police, Hancock has a bad name with the public for his destructiveness, impudence and all-around bad attitude; an adjunct to this is his foul language, which treads the very edge of PG-13 permissiveness and will no doubt catch many July 4 weekend kid-herding parents unhappily unaware.

As much in need of rehab as this week’s tabloid celebrity, the raggedly attired Hancock finds an eager savior in PR whiz Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman). Rescued from certain death by the rasty hero, Ray returns the favor by inviting him to dinner with wife Mary (Charlize Theron) and son Aaron (Jae Head) and announcing he’s going to remake Hancock’s image.

The strongman’s first step will be to submit to rehab and anger-management training, along with some prison time (although Hancock resists wearing an actual superhero outfit because it’s too “homo”). What he shortly does to two tough-talking inmates in the pen crudely literalizes the taunt about sticking your head where the sun don’t shine. Such vulgar goofiness is one thing in an Adam Sandler film, but doesn’t sit well in the rough-and-ready realism of Berg’s raw visuals, which grievously misapply hand-held jitteriness to material that demands more precise stylization.

The genre satire and numerous Will Smith moments, with the star throwing off the attitude-laden quips and looks audiences expect from him, carry the first half without too much trouble, in anticipation of where the film will go from there. Where it goes, unfortunately, is right down the tubes!

Read it all HERE.


Post a Comment