The Rocker

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The Rocker
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

I'm sure most of the movie world, at this point, knows the story of "Hancock" by now. Unless, of course, you'be been living under a rock for the last two months. Basically, in the movie, Will Smith stars as John Hancock, a superhero of sorts, who doesn't seem to give two shits about anything. He's a drunk. When he fights criminals he causes millions of dollars in damage to Los Angeles. He specializes in shoving people's heads up their own assess. Even when he flies, his take off and landing rips up the pavement or rooftop or whatever it is that his feet are touching. He's more or less a complete disaster and the city of L.A. is sick and tired of his antics. Along comes Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), a P.R. guru who, through a chance meeting, befriends Hancock and makes it his mission to clean up the bumbling superhero's tarnished image. He convinces Hancock to serve his jail term for an outstanding warrant, to take an anger management course, to wear a superhero-type costume and to use the words "good job" to other people. But is that enough to change the life of a drunken, angry man? Well, you'll have to see the movie to find that out.

It's kind of hard to sit here and say "Hancock" is a good movie when we've already had "Iron Man" hit the theaters this summer and now "The Dark Knight", which many people now have seen and are calling the greatest comic book movie ever. However, I will say this about "Hancock" - it's a mildly entertaining movie. Just having Will Smith in it assures you that the character will be fairly likeable, even if he is an asshole, and pretty funny at times. The movie certainly does have a few laughs and a handful of decent one-liners by Hancock. Bateman also does a decent job playing the unassuming family guy. Charlize Theron as the mysterious hot wife is a shoe-in.

Where this movie comes up short is in the delivery of the finer details of the plot. When we finally get to the part of the movie where it tries to explain who Hancock is and how he got his power, it just seems to be rushed and slightly confusing. Maybe confusing isn't the right word but it's, what I would think, a major point of the movie and it just seems to be delivered to us in one of those rushed, three-minute explanations. Not that I think the movie needed to spend twenty minutes telling us the life story of Hancock but it would have been nice to see a flashback or two or something like that. My other problem with the movie was the villain - again a part of the film that could have been given a bit more screen time. I'd say the bad guy in the movie might have been given a total of 10 minutes of screen time and it left me with a major question - was this guy someone from Hancock's past and did he have a reason (besides the obvious) for trying to kill him? They sure made me think so.

Nevertheless, I will say that "Hancock" isn't a total train wreck, even though there is a train wreck in the movie. In fact, it is fairly entertaining and rather humourous, as I said earlier. Maybe it's not on the level of "The Dark Knight" but it isn't as bad as, let's say, the "Fantastic Four" movies. I suppose the audience that "Hancock" targets will like it and the hardcore comic book fans who don't seem to like anything that doesn't begin with the word "Dark" and end with the word "Knight", will rip it to shreds. For me, "Hancock" is an okay movie that requires very little brainpower to enjoy, which is especially important since I have so little brainpower to spare. The story could have used a little fine-tuning but other than that, it's your typical summertime Will Smith popcorn flick.

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