CB's POV: Big Willie Edition

Hancock (Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head. Screenplay by Vincent Ngo and Vincent Gilligan. Directed by Peter Berg.)They say if the camera lingers on something, pay attention 'cause there’s something they want you to see. And if something sticks out and makes you say, for example, Why would anyone put a machine gun on a moon buggy? but Steve Buscemiis in the cast, you just say Oh, okay, and you wait for it.So, if the second lead in your movie is an Academy Award-winning actor who doesn't seem to have a lot to do yet the camera lingers on her... you just wait for it.And that's about all I can say about Hancock without spoiling the movie. (If you don't plan on seeing it, e-mail me and we can talk about it.) Trust me, anything more would be like saying, "You know, that's really a guy…" the first time Dil appears in The Crying Game. (All of you have seen The Crying Game, right...?).The parts I can tell you about: Hancock (Smith) is not your typical superhero. He doesn't have a secret identity (everybody knows who he is) or a secret lair (most of the time he's sleeping on a bus bench). He drinks alcohol by the liter (which, strangely, affects him although bullets, flames, and explosions don't). And while his super-deeds generally cause no more damage than your average metahuman avenger, the city is nonetheless pretty much fed up with him.Then he rescues Ray Embery (Bateman) a publicist who, in gratitude, decides to give Hancock an image makeover. While Ray's son Aaron (Head) is fascinated by the superguy, Ray's wife Mary (Theron) is not, because (Spoiler Warning!)----But I’m not going to spoil it for you.The script has a number of inconsistencies ("plot holes" is too pejorative a term); explaining them could the launching point for a sequel. (There won't be one, although I'm sure somebody's gonna pitch Hancock: The Series to one of the networks ["It's Superman meets My Name Is Earl!"]). The plot twist that seems to... annoy? perplex? so many critics is the only direction that makes sense of the movie... sort of.The performances are good but not Oscar-worthy (by a long shot) although it is fun to watch Will Smith channeling Samuel L. Jackson as the surly superhero.Just like the (big word alert!) eponymous superhero, Hancock isn't so bad, really... but it isn't that good, either. It's pleasant but not memorable and there are worst ways to blow gas money (like, oh, seeing Meet Dave). It’s not down there with Wild Wild West, but it’s not up there with ______________________ (insert name of better Will Smith movie).

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