Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

John Hancock

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You’d think I’d have learnt…

I had high hopes for Hancock when I found out about it at the beginning of last year. It had a great premise, it had a great trailer and Will Smith is generally pretty charismatic within his limited range. As the release grew nearer the buzz turned a bit sour though. Then when the reviews came out they were all bad and, despite the fact she doesn’t actually appear in the trailer, they all gave Charlize Theron’s name as co-star which seemed a bit odd. (In fact, Theron gets sole co-billing with Smith on the DVD which is about the most egregious example of this sort of thing since Thomas Kretschmann got co-billing on the cover of The Pianist.)

The trailer sets up a film in which Smith is the eponymous alchoholic superbum and Jason Bateman is Ray, the PR schmuck who tries to rehabilitate him. And so it is for the first (and good) half of the film. What seems to have happened is that Smith (who is also one of the producers) got cold feet about playing an asshole and an original script which featured things like jizzing some bird across the room Woman Of Kleenex-style. Instead it jarringly splits into an entirely different and much more boring film with the discovery that Ray’s wife, Mary (Theron), is also a superhero. Despite concealing this in the trailer it is pretty obvious something is up due to the extreme preponderance of lingering reaction shots of her face whenever Smith appears. So, anyway, this is revealed and she goes off to confront him by which point the filmmakers have forgotten they were making anything other than a standard superhero flick because they have her change into a psuedo-costume complete with dark eye make-up.

It turns out that Smith and Theron become more mortal the closer that get to each other. This leads to perhaps the worst thought out conclusion to any film I’ve ever seen. Theron doesn’t mention this to Smith which means he ends up getting shot whilst preventing a robbery. Then, when he is in hospital recovering, rather than popping off to New Zealand on holiday for a bit to allow him to recuperate she goes to see him with a bunch of grapes and a sob story about him being her ex-husband. Obviously this exacerbates his condition Which allows a minor criminal (Eddie Marsan, in a bizarre bit of casting) to pop up and shoot them both. Marsan’s character was last seen locked up in a maximum security prison – after Hancock chopped his hand off in the fun half of the film – but, needless to say, the film doesn’t bother to dwell on how he got out. There then follows a rubbish final fight before Hancock eventually twigs that if he just nips down the road him and Mary will both recover from their wounds and regain their superosity. They do, Ray and Mary stay together and Hancock buys an eagle and moves to Gotham City. The film ends with him spraypainting a big red love heart on the moon. Seriously.

So, that was the first film I saw this year. Hopefully there will be some better ones. They probably won’t be SF ones though. Has there actually been a decent one (except WALL-E) in the last couple of years?


Written by Martin

5 January 2009 at 15:28

Posted in films

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Keeping Score

    The last four years of SF cinema (according to wikipedia) that I’ve seen:

    Æon Flux = Shit
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy = Shit
    The Island = Shit
    Serenity = Good
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith = Shit to the power of shit
    Steamboy= Shit
    War of the Worlds = Shit
    A Scanner Darkly = Good
    Children of Men = Good
    The Fountain = Good/Shit
    Renaissance = Shit
    Southland Tales = Shit
    Superman Returns = Good
    Ultraviolet = shit
    V for Vendetta =Shit
    Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem = Shitty McShitshit
    28 Weeks Later = Good
    I Am Legend = Shit
    Sunshine = Shit
    Transformers = Shit
    Cloverfield = Shit
    Doomsday =Shit
    Iron Man = Good
    WALL-E = Good


    6 January 2009 at 11:53

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