“Hancock”, played by Will Smith, is the only known superhero. He is super-strong, invulnerable, and can fly at super-speed. He is also sloppy, disaffected, frequently drunk, and has a bad attitude that has alienated the Los Angeles community he tries to help. Jason Batemen plays Ray Embrey, a public relations man with ambitions to change the world, who makes rehabilitating Hancock his project after the hero messily saves his life. Charlize Theron is Embrey’s wife, Mary, dismayed by the disruption Hancock brings into her family life. The unexpectedly dramatic plot revolves around the interaction of these three characters, with, of course, some intervention from the criminal element. Eddie Marsan plays Kenneth “Red” Parker Jr., Hancock’s would-be nemesis, who is a thoroughly nasty character. You have to listen closely to the sound track to find the delightful details that he is an evil Psychology professor who turned to crime leading a gang of graduate students he had led to the bad.
We had expected the film to be a pure comedy, but it is far from that. Although there are a lot of comic elements, some of them quite outrageous, particularly in the early portions of the film, it takes a major and quite effective twist into the dramatic.
The script was quite inventive in a number of ways, particularly involving Hancock’s use of his powers, such as using the pressure of his super-strong fingers to make a sharp edge on a piece of metal when needed--. I also liked some of the effects treatments, like his shattering pavement when he carelessly leaps into the sky, and the fine turbulence vapor that trails from his heels when flying at speed.
Being a super-hero movie, there is considerable, often gross violence, but comparatively little blood; quite a lot of moderately bad language; and no sex.