Will Smith’s jaded superhero vehicle Hancock starts out well enough – albeit with a premise not a million miles away from Pixar’s The Incredibles, but the screenplay leaks coherence as it goes on, and by its conclusion has virtually none left.
There was just too much in the plot arc for it to have much hope of hanging together: the plot twists significantly and starts off in quite different directions on more than one occasion, and in its final act where you might expect some resolution, the (poorly drawn) villain characters and their motivations were too flimsily expounded, and the uncomfortable relationship between the three leading characters – a superhero love triangle, of sorts – was not satisfactorily resolved but instead just found an improbable equilibrium.
There are some great comedy moments – as you would expect, Will Smith has some great lines and he delivers them with his characteristic panache – and Jason Bateman is – well, Jason Bateman – a likeable everyman who injects warmth into the screenplay. But as it goes on Hancock veers uneasily between comedy and edgy thriller, finally (and to my mind unwisely) settling for the latter – there are some harrowing moments right at the end – when the film’s loopy superhero premise denied just the kind of credibility needed to carry that off, and had more than enough acting and comedy talent to ensure the former would be a banker.
Like many films of this type there is some over-use of the (undeniably impressive) CGI, and the film, though starting off promisingly enough, winds up being no more than a watchable, if confusing film.