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Superhumans: The Making of Hancock
Seeing the Future: An in-depth look at the scenes of Hancock using pre-visualization, film and behind-the-scenes footage
Building a Better Hero: Special effects featurette
Bumps and Bruises: Stunts featurette
Mere Mortals: Behind the Scenes with "Dirty Pete": The directing style of Peter Berg
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Run Time: 92 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Academy Award nominee Will Smith (Best Actor, The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006) stars in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public.
When Hancock grudgingly agrees to an extreme makeover from idealistic publicist Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, Juno), his life and reputation rise from the ashes and all seems right again - until he meets a woman (2003 Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, Best Actress, Monster) with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past.
I kinda like a drunk, grouchy Will Smith. He's not his usual charming self in "Hancock," nor is he the confident hero-type we're used to. Instead, he's a mean, snarky guy with superhuman abilities who happens to sometimes save people while usually making a bigger mess of things. It's a fun premise, and if you take out the whole unnecessary mythology that seems tacked on just so he can kiss Charlize Theron, it's a somewhat unique blockbuster with lots of action and some laughs.
John Hancock (Will Smith) has some unexplainable superpowers, and while most people would probably don a tight costume and rescue innocents from the clutches of evil, he's more content to just hang out in his trailer drinking and sleeping. Sure, he comes to the rescue of Los Angeles citizens in peril every once in a while, but his heroics usually result in millions of dollars of damage and the occasional unintended injury. One such rescued citizen, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), is also a PR agent, and he decides that the best way to re-pay Hancock is to make him over in the eyes of the public who hates him.
So, Smith earns his millions, as usual, and has some hilarious lines and annoyed facial expressions that made me laugh even on a second viewing. The real standout performance, though, is Bateman, who's funnier in lines that sound like he's just muttering them under his breath than a lot of actors are when the jokes are obvious. This may be a Will Smith Fourth of July vehicle, but it stands out for me as Bateman's triumph. Where the movie begins to falter is in trying to be too many things. It does funny well, and it carries off the whole "conflicted guy trying to grow" thing in an entertaining and fresh take on superheroes in general. Then they throw in this back-story thing with Theron that's supposed to explain Hancock's origins. Even that could've worked, but their scenes of destruction just seem like they needed to be in a different film, as does the entire part of the plot that involves them. There was enough conflict without their history, and adding in a convoluted mythic tale of gods and such takes away from the things that were, up until then, making the film pretty good - namely, the everyday, almost bored treatment society's been giving to Hancock and his superness and his view on his situation.
The two-disc Special Edition version of the DVD is probably the way to go if you're a "Hancock" fan, because there's a digital copy of the movie, or if you're a production fan, because it's got about 20 or so minutes of footage on costume and set design. Included in both versions are some adequately in-depth featurettes: "Superhumans: The Making of Hancock," "Seeing the Future, Building a Better Hero," "Bumps & Bruises," "Mere Mortals: Behind the Scenes with 'Dirty Pete'." Overall, they cover just about any aspect you want covered, from more explanation of the mythology to pieces on special effects and stunts. A gag reel could've been fun, but what you get is thorough, if nothing else. Oh, and whatever version you get, you'll have the choice between the theatrical and unrated release.
"Hancock" is definitely funny, and a lot better than it got credit for when it made it's way into last summer's theaters, but about 3/4 of the way through it gets a little tangled up in its own plot and starts to take itself too seriously.