Hancock Review

January 30, 2009

hancock3Reviewed by: The Film Snob

Synopsis: Hancock (Will Smith) is a one-man wrecking crew. He has super powers, but he can’t seem to figure out how to use them effectively. When the city turns against him, Hancock hires Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) to help upgrade his image.

Review: See that picture I posted? That’s what this film did–fell flat on its ass. It was awful–just awful. The premise is a sound one–the person with superpowers has a volatile relationship with the public–and as such, he needs a publicist. However, the execution of this premise is unimaginative and unintelligent. Let me present this to you (the list contains some plot details, but you should read this rather than see the movie–believe me).

  • Hancock rips the roof off of a car traveling on the highway and takes a seat in the back. He then continues to carry on a conversation with these gentlemen, one of which continues to drive the car. There is absolutely no wind during the whole high-speed scene. They might just as well have been in a library.
  • During this conversation Hancock tells the gentlemen that he is going to take one of their heads and shove it up another one’s butt. Not only is this the worst line ever, he actually proceeds to do so later in the film. It was the goofiest movie moment since Rocky tried to save the Soviet Union by punching a guy really hard.
  • Mary Embrey (Charlize Theron) does not want anyone to know that she has the same abilities as Hancock. So what does she do hide her identity? She starts by tackling Hancock through her kitchen wall and destroying a few of the cars in the neighborhood. Then for a follow up she flies through the city–and once to an extraordinarily well-populated part of the city she engages Hancock in a fight, utilizing all of her super powers. Which, coincidentally, lands right at the feet of her husband–the person she was trying to keep the secret from most.
  • The two men who were engaged in the head-up-butt exchange later decided that they needed revenge on Hancock. They were in jail at the time so what they decided to do is break out of prison and take their personal revenge. Do you see any flaw in this plan? These thugs are going to find Hancock and do what? He’s got super strength, super speed, and what’s that other thing–oh yeah, he deflects bullets and all sharp objects. What exactly is this master plan going to be? Now, there may be a logical explanation for all of this, but the movie goer would never know it–therefore it does not really exist.

Also, I like Will Smith–but is inept at playing the introspective, tough-guy character. Someone should inform Mr. Smith that pursing your lips together does not convey anything except that you have spilled your milk.

Now that I’ve outlined some of my criticisms, let me divulge the upside of this movie–Jason Bateman is kind of humorous. Did you get all that? In a movie that is poorly thought out and poorly acted, Bateman is the only bright spot. Theron is one of our finest actresses, but in a role that demanded nothing, there was little for her to contribute.

Rating: 1.7

Recommendation: I’m not going to say it’s the worst film of they year because I assume that title goes to Bride Wars, what I am going to going to do is travel to my backyard with a shovel, bury this film, tell Netflix it must have gotten lost in the mail, and then never speak of this movie again.

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Seven Pounds Review

January 17, 2009

Seven Pounds Smith Dawson

Reviewed By: Average Joe

Synopsis: The jist of the story is that Will Smith’s character, Tim Thomas, has a dark secret, and he sets out on a quest for redemption by changing the lives of seven people.

Review: Here’s a movie that the critics hated, and the regular viewers seemed to love. Well this Average Joe falls somewhere in the middle.

First of all let me preface this review by saying that I usually love Will Smith’s work, and have always been a fan. Not in the sense of an acclaimed actor, but as a talented actor who is always entertaining and solid in the sense that you know what to expect and it won’t be bad. Well, I got news for fans of Will Smith, he wasn’t very good in this film.

Why does this matter? Because I think a great performance from Smith could’ve made this a good film, but what I got was disconnected garble. Though I had some inclination, I wasn’t really sure what Smith was up to until halfway into the film, and by that time I didn’t really care. There were a lot of holes in this film, and that really disappointed me because I was so intrigued by the trailer.

As Smith’s character works towards his goal, he begins to fall in love with Rosario Dawson’s character, Emily Posa, a woman with a severe heart condition. There are people that will say the romance took away from this intriguing jigsaw puzzle of a plot, but the romance and the genuine, authentic way it came about was one of my favorite parts of the film. Dawson’s performance wasn’t bad at all.

I’m not going to give away the nuances of the plot or the ending, but I will say that for me the jigsaw was one that’s pieces weren’t really going to fit together from the start. The ending itself didn’t bother me as bad as the way we’re left with no explanation for why Barry Pepper’s character, Dan (Thomas’ best friend) would take part in all of it (best friend or not).

The movie aims high with its message, but it doesn’t make me care enough throughout to give the ending the umph it set out to achieve.

There are a lot of ifs here. If there were a few less holes in the plot, if Smith turned in a stronger performance, if it didn’t try so damn hard to be mysterious and puzzling. Those ifs are what separates it from being a really solid film.

Rating: 6.1

Recommendation: Had the potential to be a really good film, but fell short. If you’re a Will Smith fan, you might be disappointed, but this one is worth a casual rent if you have already seen everything you really want to see.