Maybe being a superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You find a whale stranded on the beach. You pick it up and toss it back into the ocean. Then you get a bill for the yacht it landed on.
Nevertheless the hero of Hancock seems to handle it worse than most. At the beginning of the movie John Hancock (Will Smith) is a drunken bum living in a shabby trailer. He has a bad habit of flying low over the streets of Los Angeles while swigging from a whiskey bottle, colliding with birds, traffic signs and the occasional building. Indeed, the opening scenes provide graphic illustrations of why you shouldn’t use superpowers while under the influence of alcohol.
His drunken mistakes and his general bad attitude make Hancock very unpopular. But things start to change for him after he saves the life of a gifted but struggling PR agent (Jason Bateman) who decides to give him an image makeover.
With the help of some symbolic expiation, anger-management classes, some training in basic courtesy and a suitably embarrassing new uniform, Hancock soon becomes a proper hero, beloved by the populace. But his problems are not over because he has a past that he does not remember and a weakness that he is not aware of.
There is a definite shift in tone at this point. The movie starts out as a hilarious comedy, but the second half is somewhat darker and more violent, making it unsuitable for young children.
For anyone older however, this unusual story with its unique twist on the familiar superhero genre is well worth seeing.