Monday, December 8, 2008

"Hancock"

If you were to look on the listings for the credits; the names of the people who were the cast and crew for the film, you'd see Peter Berg (The Kingdom, The Rundown) listed as the director and particular names for the writers of the film. But I think the writers' names were put as a way to legitimize the film; it appears evident to me that it was really written by Peter Berg's 9-year-old-son as an English paper for his Junior High School class.


I had this conversation/argument with my mother and cannot repeat the content of it here for fear of spoiling the film for you, but it basically concerned the realism of the story, an element which was obviously never part of the plan, or was but was then taken out. This does not cater to those who don't take any superhero or fantasy story seriously because it concerns made-up fantastical elements (people flying, aliens, superhuman powers, etc.) Those people simply can't think outside of the box and miss the whole point of fiction. This concerned the point that if you are going to put forth said fantastical elements, you have to explain logically how these elements react to and are effected by the world as we know it.

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple explanation. Ex: Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider. We don't know what would really happen to someone who was bit by one (we don't know what's in the radiation), and it's safe to assume they won't get powers if they were bit, but that area of reality is vague and uncertain enough for writers to fill it with their own mythology. The point is, he was bit by a radioactive spider, and his biologics reacted through giving him the abilities of a spider and that explains why he has his powers. You'd be hard-pressed to find this simple explanation in "Hancock". You be hard-pressed to find an explanation period.

In spite of the film having CGI the quality of which me and The Disturbed One could've simply made with Adobe Photoshop and HTML, besides certain scenes being rushed and ruined in the process, besides having a temporary villain that was completely worthless to the film as a whole (the film really focused on the three main characters.....or tried to anyway), it was fun watching Will Smith's character Hancock. He had a certain charm in the constant scrunching up of his mouth, his complete sloppiness and alcoholism, and his interaction with Ray Embrey (played by Jason Bateman) and sometimes with Mary Embrey (Charlize Theron). But this is about all I can say for what good elements the film had.

2 comments:

  1. Don't Feed The PixiesDecember 9, 2008 at 6:21 AM

    What you're talking about here is the "MacGuffin"

    or is that "McGuffin"?

    Either way - its the piece of spurious science/whatever that allows the plot to make leaps: in Spiderman its the radioactive/genetically enhanced spider, in the Lion, Witch & Wardrobe it's the Wardrobe - in Hancock? Wasn't there some vague mutterings of people-since-the-dawn-of-time?

    You could argue the same for X-Men, or Heroes come to that. X-Men offers us Genetic mutation, but we're still waiting for definitives in the latter

    I actually quite enjoyed Hancock as a piece of fluff (switch your brain off - don't worry about the sillier bits), but had to agree with the critics that said that as a depiction of Alcoholism (drink yourself stupid for as long as you like, get over it extremely easily) it was worryingly inept

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  2. Thanks Clandestine. I was trying to decide if I should watch this over the holidays or not.
    You have now confirmed for me the answer is ...

    NOT.

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