ScrimismsPresently suffering a dearth of witticisms
Links and Movies12 Jan 2009

We watched Hancock on the weekend. We were disappointed.

The really disappointing thing about it was that, on paper, it could have been quite good. Will Smith plays Hancock, an inept and generally reviled superhero. The movie opens with a hung-over Hancock flying superman-style to intervene in a high speed chase on an LA freeway. He nabs the bad guys, but causes 6 million dollars in damages to roads, buildings, police cars, and anything else that gets in his way in the process. We imagine the city was once thrilled to have their own super-powered crime fighter; now he’s become a public menace. But how do you rein in someone who can fly and is immune to bullets?

I hope I’m making this sound good. I should have been good. There are so many good directions the movie could have gone from there. It could have been a hilarious slapstick comedy. It could have been a great satire of the over-played superhero genre. It could have taken the consequences of having super powers seriously. It could have been an examination of how even the “best” among us can fail. At the very least, it should have been an entertaining story of one (super) man’s redemption.

Apparently the filmmakers saw this smorgasbord of possibilities before them and decided to have none of it. After 30 minutes, the movie transformed in some kind of unwieldy and nonsensical superhero love triangle. I really don’t understand Hollywood sometimes.

And, on a tangentially related note, here’s my new favorite website: TV Tropes – a gleeful catalog of every cliché and convention of TV, film, and other narrative media.

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