Will Smith & Charlize Theron Set Hancock on Fire

You take all our Bollywood stars (the Amitabhs, the Shahrukhs, the Hrithiks and even the Kamal Haasans) and all our starlets (the Aishwaryas, the Priyankas and the Kareenas) – Tis’ sad but true that the combined skills of all these Bollywood pygmies wouldn’t match the extraordinary talent Will Smith and Charlize Theron bring to Hancock.

It’s Will and Charlize – with their amazing performance – aided by the solid special effects, of course, that rescue the not-so-great Hancock story into a nice entertainer.

Hancock is the eponymous story of an alcoholic bum John Hancock (Will Smith) in Los Angeles with superhuman powers.

Like Superman, our Hancock can fly vertically and horizontally and yes, freight trains and heavy artillery are no match for his strength.

Unlike Christopher Reeve’s Superman, our superhero Hancock – even as he goes about his mandatory good deeds – also leaves behind a trail of expensive destruction in his wake, much to the city’s chagrin.

Outstanding actor as he is, Hancock is more than just Will Smith whooshing by.

Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) is the public relations executive Hancock saves from the path of a huge freight train.

Ray’s wife Mary, yes Mary of the smouldering eyes that could tell Homeric tales if only they were given a chance, is played by the South African actress and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.

Having been saved from certain death, a grateful Ray wants to use his PR skills to help Hancock improve his public image and better interface with the public.

When you see even young kids going around calling Hancock an asshole to his face, you know Hancock has a serious image problem. Real serious problem.

Good movies always have nice twists that take you by surprise when the director decides it’s time to let you in on the secret. And Hancock does not disappoint on this score either.

The Will & Charlize Show

We’ve always been fans of Will Smith. Be it I Robot, Hitch, Pursuit of Happyness, I am Legend or now Hancock, Will Smith has handled varied roles with great panache. This is an actor that expands the meaning of the term repertoire.

The intense performance of the seductively beautiful Charlize Theron – and oh, what expressive powers those eyes have – sucked out all the oxygen from our lungs and left us gasping for breath.

It’s only after you watch actresses of the calibre of Charlize Theron that you realize how pukeworthy Indian actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Trisha and Nayantara are. These sows are affronts to the movie business, nay an embarrassment to all notions of art.

Nice Moments & Rare Chemistry

There are some nice moments in Hancock – as when Ray tries teaching Hancock to say Good Job or the fateful, passionate scene between Will Smith and Charlize Theron after Hancock has tucked Ray into bed.

Chemistry such as that between Will Smith and Charlize Theron on screen is a rare treat to behold. Savor such good things because the next trashy Bollywood movie is invariably round the corner.

Hey, Jason Bateman leaves behind a decent impression too as the PR guy trying to save the world.

Special Effects

All ye Bollywood and Kollywood fans, so you think the special effects in Krrish or Dasavatharam are great. Truth be said, they are not even spit-worthy compared to the amazing effects that Hollywood churns out in movies like Hancock.

Whether it’s Will Smith hurling a rude kid into the stratosphere,  or the fight between Will Smith and, no, we won’t tell you who, the special effects in Hancock are superb.

Hancock is not perfect (what is perfection anyway). The only shortcoming  – and a big shortcoming it is – in Hancock lies in the story. It loses steam after a while and is carried along only by the performances of Will Smith and Charlize Theron and the special effects.

No, Hancock won’t blow you away but it won’t leave you feeling shortchanged either.

Directed by Peter Berg (whose last movie Kingdom featuring Jamie Fox was just ok), Hancock released across the U.S. today.

Depressed as we are with the recent run of Bollywood and Kollywood trash like Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, Tashan, Sarkar Raj, Kuruvi and Dasavatharam, Hancock comes across as a welcome respite.

Hancock is supposed to be releasing in India on July 11, 2008 (on the same day as Mehbooba, featuring Ajay U Me Aur Hum Devgan, the notorious criminal and former drug addict Sanjay Dutt and Manisha Koirala).

11 Responses to "Will Smith & Charlize Theron Set Hancock on Fire"

  1. araj   July 2, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I agree with you on Charlize Theron. Lovely actress (both figuratively & literally). But I am not sure I can say the same thing about Will Smith. I watched him in ‘I Robot’ where he had nothing much to do and ‘Hitch’ in which he was totally miscast(he couldn’t radiate that quiet penetrating intelligence of a love-guru and he has this irritating style of reading his lines like a rap song. Besides ‘Hitch’ had a poor screenplay as well). Will Smith, I believe, is one of those quack actors, along with many others of such kind in Hollywood such as Tom Cruise, who equates portrayal of life on silver screen with stuffy positivism(preoccupation with inherent ‘goodness’ than inherent reasonlessness of life) , a hackneyed attitude that can seriously restrict the range of expressions one can bring to the table and steadily gets on your nerves (one such actor in India is Aamir Khan, whose obsession with jingoism/sentimentalism has progressively worsened after Lagaan). The fundamental problem with these guys is that they pamper their characters too much and act as if they are on verge of an orgasm, often trespassing that thin line between ‘awareness’ and ‘affection’. On the contrary, I loved most of Theron’s performances in all of her movies I watched.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, Charlize Theron is simply sui generis. We are planning on watching many of her earlier movies.

    We think Tom Cruise is a much lesser actor than Will Smith. And Will Smith is good but not great.

  2. gandhiji   July 2, 2008 at 11:00 am

    yeah, don’t miss “2 days in the valley”.. has a great topless scene! She became a naturalized citizen of the US recently..

    Kamal is a better actor than Will.. I have no doubt about that. araj is analyzing tooooo much! I like Will and I like Tom, as well.. i think we factor in Tom’s off-screen issues and start hating more than he deserves.. just like we treat Kamal.

  3. sanewar   July 8, 2008 at 7:14 am

    I disagree with you in “All ye Bollywood and Kollywood fans, so you think the special effects in Krrish or Dasavatharam are great. Truth be said, they are not even spit-worthy compared to the amazing effects that Hollywood churns out in movies like Hancock.”.

    I am sure that the special effects for Hancock was made by almost spending ten times of the total budget of Dasavatharam and with technology and equipments, which are unheard for the technicians in kollywood. So, given the constraints of budget and technology, the special effects in Dasavatharam is unmatched in any of the previous indian movies and almost equal to Hollywood.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write above: given the constraints of budget and technology, the special effects in Dasavatharam is unmatched in any of the previous indian movies and almost equal to Hollywood

    The latter part of your above statement (the special effects in Dasavatharam is … almost equal to Hollywood) is absolute baloney. While some scenes like Tsunami were decent in Dasavatharam, there’s just no comparison with the Hollywood folks. You are right, Hollywood has more money.

    2. Just because Kollywood has budget constraints, are they charging us less for a movie ticket. We paid $15 for Dasavathatram (afternoon show), $25 for Sivaji (afternoon show) , $15 for Azhagiya Tamil Magan, $13 for Kuruvi but just $9.50 for Hancock (for an evening show…would have been $6.75 for a matinee).

  4. sanewar   July 9, 2008 at 4:05 am

    hi, ticket pricing in any theatre for any movie in any country is not done by the producers or directors or actors, so why blame them ?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: ticket pricing in any theatre for any movie in any country is not done by the producers or directors or actors, so why blame them ?

    Someone tried to defend Kollywood’s less spectacular technical effects on the ground of limited budget, hence we brought up the issue of ticket price.

    We pay less in ticket prices (for Hollywood films) to see better technical/special effects but more (for Tamil movies) to see less spectacular effects. Of course, it could be Tamil distributors and exhibitors trying to capitalize on a scarce commodity in the U.S. But we also believe it has to do with the producers and actors…when the actors charge so much relative to the cost of the whole movie, the producer charges distributors more and the higher costs ultimately will trickle down to the audience in the form of higher ticket prices.

  5. ajju   July 14, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Hi, thanks for your Hancock review. It turned out to be great. I really loved the special fx of the movie, awesome!!
    And they were light years ahead of what we got in L.S.2050.
    Will Smith was good but I liked him more in I m Legend.
    Also I was wondering whether you have seen Persepolis? I have read good reviews abt it. It wasn’t released in our city so I plan on purchasing a DVD when its released so just wanted to know whether its worth it. Do reply!!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We too liked Will Smith better in I am Legend and Pursuit of Happyness.

    You write above: Also I was wondering whether you have seen Persepolis?

    No, we haven’t. But we’ve just added it to our Netflix queue. We should watch Persepolis in the next 7-10 days.

    Chiara Mastroianni (main actress in Persepolis) is the daughter of famous Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni.

    Marcello Mastroianni was the hero of Le notti bianche directed by Luchino Visconti (1957). Saawariya (Ranbhir Kapoor) and Le Notti Bianche, are both adaptations of Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1848 novella White Nights.

    We’ve watched Le notti bianche – simply superb.

  6. thechamp   July 14, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Yeah thanks for comparing Hancock[92 min movie-Budget more than $150 million] and Dasavatharam[150 min movie-Budget around $15 million]. You paid 15$ to dasavatharam and paid only 9.50$ to Hancock? Thats great. Very happy to hear that the ticket of a kollywood film is greater than the ticket of a Hollywood’s superstar’s movie.

    How many times Hollywood genius movie makers take superhero stories? When will they stop? Sick and tired of these superheros flying and saving the world. Heard another superhero is coming shortly.. Batman. Ufffff.. All kiddish.. Cant your Hollywood movie makers take some movies which could be belivable and watched by people rather than kids????

    Ask your Hollywood Movie makers to invest 150$ million for a single kollywood movie (walt Disney and warner bros is already coming up, i dont know why they are coming here). I assure, we will reduce the movie ticket price from 15$ to 6.5$, and will give effects more than yours Hollywood. But the sad thing is, we cant pay more than 20 rs for a hollywood movie here in India. I paid 100rs for Dasavatharam and 15 rs for Hancock (But i should have used this 15 rs for Shaving my beard).

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: How many times Hollywood genius movie makers take superhero stories

    You are right. And we made the point that the Hancock story wasn’t all that great. As we wrote in the second paragraph of our review: It’s Will and Charlize – with their amazing performance – aided by the solid special effects, of course, that rescue the not-so-great Hancock story into a nice entertainer.

    You write: But i should have used this 15 rs for Shaving my beard

    If you let us know when you intend shaving all the hair on your head (Motta), we’d be happy to sponsor that Motta-look. 🙂

    • chennaiarun2007   March 19, 2010 at 5:00 am

      To all SI readers,

      To people that say that our Hindi movies and Tamil Movies are better than the foreign language movies(including Hollywood movies),even the not so gloss-filled Iranian movies are better than all the Indian movies put together!!

      Anyways,for the same purpose,I have classified the foreign language films that I have watched into three categories:

      1.Good Films.
      2.In-between Films.
      3.Bad Films.

      These classifications are very personal in nature and I have tried to consider the overall aspect of the film rather than a single plus point.

      These films may have bad reviews in Rotten Tomatoes and other sites, but as I have mentioned,I have considered them because I may have liked it as a whole.

      Good Films:

      1. Priceless(a french language film).
      2. The Inner Circle( a Russian film).
      3. Die Hard,Die Hard 2.(staring Bruce willis)
      4. Terminator3-Rise of the Machines.
      5. The Mask.
      6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
      7. Ice Age.
      8. Slumdog Millionaire.
      9. Jumanji.
      10. Stuart Little.
      11. Flubber.
      12. Predator.
      13. Bean(The movie).
      14. I Know What You Did Last Summer.
      15. Mask of the Zorro.
      16. SPIDERMAN-3(a superb message-driven film).
      17. The Thomas Crown Affair(staring Pierce Brosnan,not the old movie).
      18. Enemy of the State(starring Will Smith,my favorite actor).
      19. Golden Eye(James bond film starring Pierce Brosnan).
      20. Tomorrow Never Dies(starring Pierce Brosnan, a James bond film).
      21. Sudden Death.
      22. Laws of Attraction.
      23. The Basketball Diaries( a superb realistic film).
      24. Nick of Time(a thriller).
      25. The Jackal(again a thriller,staring Bruce Willis).
      26. Psycho(a film by Albert Hitchcock).
      27. Under Siege.
      28. Kung Fu Panda.
      29. Pinocchio.
      30. Finding Nemo.

      In-between films(neither good nor bad):

      1. American Pie.(a very dumb stereotypical American romantic movie)
      2. Hollywood ending.
      3. Waxwork.
      4. Titanic.
      5. Hitch(watchable only becoz of Will Smith).
      6. The Flintstones.
      7. Armageddon.
      8. Star Wars Series.
      9. Home Alone series(home alone 1,2,3 and 4).
      10. Speed Series(Speed 1 and 2 starring Keenu Reaves).
      11. The Mummy.
      12. Back To the future series(Back to the future 1 and 2).
      13. The Fifth Element.
      14. Unbreakable.
      15. Kill Bill (staring Uma thurman).

      Bad films:

      1. Dumb and Dumber( staring Jim Carey, why did he act in this stupid and vulgar movie?).
      2. Spider Man(only the blind adaptation of a cartoon,nothing extra or appealing).
      3. SOLO.
      4. Connan The Barbarian(starring Arnold Schwarzenegger).
      5. BulletProof Monk(what a stupid movie,no logic,nothing works for it!!).
      6. ScoobyDoo movie series(Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo2:Monsters Unleashed,both being very bad adaptations of a cartoon I liked).

      All the six movies that I have put in the list are all Hollywood movies.This means even some Hollywood movies fail to meet the standards.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Now that’s some list.

      Thank you. 🙂

  7. mallukuttan   July 20, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Hi buddy,

    Hancock was said to be nice, but the movie fails in impressing most of the audience. Thought the movie grossed profits, i don’t think this is a very good movie. AVG-Above AVG is my rating. Will smith is the sole performer. Charlie is nice too. But the end of the movie was booooooooooooooooring and ordinary. 1st half was interesting. Nowhere near the hype they created.

    You seems to trash every bollywood movie. UMH was not excellent, but it was watchable dude. You people trashed Kal ho Naa Ho. It was one of the better movies. Dasa was not good, but not bad as Tashan. So, please dont praise hollywood movies alone. Jaane Tu was nice, had collection records, but you seems to praise HAN-COCK. See Wikipedia dude –

    “Hancock has received mainly poor to average reviews from film critics.”

    LOL, you are not wrong, maybe wikipedia 😉

    SearchIndia.com Responds:
    You write above: You seems to trash every bollywood movie

    Not every but most….Well, most of them are trash.

    We said Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was an entertaining movie.

  8. mitchell   September 11, 2008 at 11:03 am

    You don’t watch animated movies,do you?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We watched Persepolis recently based on the recommendation of a SearchIndia.com reader. Loved it.

  9. Sriram   July 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Hi SI,

    I saw this movie one year before. Movie was ok.

    Actually i forget the ending. Actually the central theme/idea of this story(Hancock) was taken from the movie named ‘The Man from Earth’ which is a Good movie.If u have time, try to see and review this movie.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    The Man from Earth looks very interesting.

    We must watch it.

  10. 1012900   February 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I watched it just for Will Smith.

    Other than the fine acting and the wonderful special effects, the movie doesn’t have anything going for it.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Charlize is the one. 😉

    Fight between Charlize Theron and Will Smith

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