When this arrived at the house, I decided to try something to test my own reaction to the film. When I wrote my review for Ain’t It Cool, it may have seemed largely negative, but part of that stems from frustration that it didn’t all work. I had my buddy over on two successive nights, and on the first night, I showed him everything in “Hancock”, up to the moment Will Smith and Charlize Theron kiss. Then I shut it off. And, man, he loved it. He thought it was Will Smith’s best movie, he loved Peter Berg’s work, loved the casting.
So the second night he comes over, I put on the second half of the film, from the kiss to the end. And this time, the result is radically different. He hates the movie. Can’t believe what he’s watching. Can’t even believe it’s the same film he saw the night before.
If you asked him on the first night, “Hancock” was a great movie. If you asked him on the second night, “Hancock” was a disaster. That pretty much sums it up. It is a deeply schizophrenic film. It’s broken right down the middle. The idea of a PR man helping an alcoholic asshole clean up his image as a superhero? That’s a film I enjoyed watching. Whatever the hell all that nonsense about Charlize Theron’s character being another god just like Will Smith and the magically changing rules of how their powers work? No fun at all. I like Eddie Marsan a lot, and I thought he was great in “Happy-Go-Lucky” this year, but I don’t get his storyline at all. It’s too silly to be serious, too grim to be funny. It’s a tonal mess.
The BluRay package is, for the most part, the same as the DVD, and there is some material in the unrated cut that does make a legitimate difference in the film, dealing with Hancock’s sexual habits. The onset visual diary you can turn on as a picture-in-picture feature exclusive to the BluRay is very nice, and I hope more commentaries are handled like this in the future.