Well, me and Tristan finally got a chance to go see Hancock yesterday, and let me just say, it was awesome. Let me start you out with a little perspective, in case you haven’t seen it. We have Will Smith playing John Hancock, a superhero whose powers are basically the same as Superman’s. Except he’s an alcoholic. And he’s black. So we have a drunk black Superman – sounds like a recipe for lulz. Also, it’s set in Los Angeles – it took me a while to figure this one out. Anyway, spoiler time – don’t read if you don’t want em.
When the movie starts, we see an SUV full of guys, flying down the highway shooting at people. Then it cuts over to Hancock, who’s sleeping on a bench on some sidewalk, dressed basically like a hobo, with a bottle of whiskey, until a kid wakes him up (with some difficulty) and tells him to go save the city. Finally, Hancock gets up and flies away – destroying the bench and part of the sidewalk in the process – toward the high-speed chase, while Ludacris‘s Move Bitch plays.
On his way to the chase, he flies into a flock of geese, almost hits a plane, and does in fact hit one of those overhead highway signs that advise drivers on which exits to take – the sign then falls on a cop car (or several), destroying everything involved. He gets to the SUV, tears off the roof, and sits in the back seat – not without his bottle of whiskey. He tries to talk to the guys, but they refuse to speak English – I forget what they were speaking. Finally, they decide to pump him full of lead, but naturally, it all just bounces off.
He gets pissed off because they destroyed his bottle of whiskey and his brand new sunglasses, so he jams his feet through the floorboard to stop the vehicle (destroying a good amount of roadway in the process), picks them up, and flies them around for a while. When they beg to be let down, he impales the front of the vehicle on the giant spike on top of some LA building. Obviously enough, the public doesn’t like him, and he sees a newscast to that effect while he sits in some bar later that day – turns out, the damage cost the city roughly $9 million to repair, a personal record for Hancock.
The next day, we meet Ray Embrey (played by Jason Bateman), a real nice guy who does public relations work. The first scene we see him in, he’s pitching a new “have a heart” brand or something like that to a drug company. The idea behind the brand is that it’s a philanthropic seal – the companies bearing it are very select, and the right to bear it requires that the company do something big. What he asks if this particular company is that they give away their newest drug, the one advertised on TV, 100% free to people whose lives it will save. Naturally, they laugh at him.
On his way home, he gets stuck in traffic, and – like a dumbass – stops on a set of railroad tracks. Predictably, a freight train comes along, and he can’t pull forward or back because of the traffic; can’t open his door on the first try because the inside handle is busted, so he has to reach out the window to open it that way; and then he can’t get his seatbelt unbuckled. Then Hancock lands in front of his car, gives him a “what the fuck?” look, flips the car over on top of a couple other vehicles, and stops the train…with his body. Naturally, the whole train jackknifes and derails, causing all sorts of damage.
Ray is very grateful. Everyone else around starts yelling at Hancock, saying what an asshole he is and how he should have handled it. One woman even yells that she can smell the alcohol on his breath, to which he response “‘Cause I been drinkin, bitch!” Ray, however, argues in his favor. He figures, yeah, he should have handled it differently, but the man still saved his life. Because of Hancock, he’ll be able to go home to his family that night. Then he asks if Hancock can fly him home – so he does, along with the car.
When they land, Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), and son, Aaron (Jae Head), come running outside asking what happened, since Hancock just dropped their father, in his car, right in the middle of the cul de sac, then dragged the car into the driveway. Ray tells the story and invites Hancock in for dinner, insisting that he stay. His son, naturally, is like Hancock’s biggest fan – and as we also find out, he’s being bullied by a neighborhood boy named Michel (Daeg Faerch, the same kid who played in Rob Zombie’s Halloween).
Over dinner, Ray keeps trying to get Hancock to let him do his PR work. Totally free, he just wants to make a name for himself. The problem is, Hancock won’t admit that he wants the public to like him. At one point, he goes to the bathroom (with his bottle of whiskey), and Mary won’t stop talking about how she feels that Hancock is just bad news. Hancock leaves, and Ray sends his business card with him.
He flies back to his home, which is really just a small cluster of trailers atop a mesa of some sort in the desert. While there, he opens a small tin (like an Altoids thing or similar), which contains a few dollar bills and two movie tickets to Frankenstein. The next day, he goes back to Ray’s house, landing in the cul de sac and leaving a crater. Now we meet that Michel kid, who calls Hancock an asshole a couple times – which is a problem, because Hancock doesn’t like being called an asshole. He throws the kid way up in the air, and that’s when Ray walks out and greets him, saying that he needs to work on his landings – the crater thing is a problem. Then Michel comes down and Hancock catches him – Ray says that that’s also a no-no.
So they go inside, Ray gives him the pitch, shows him a couple Youtube videos, and eventually he agrees. Ray mentions that, apparently, Hancock has failed to show for some obscene number of subpoenas – 860 comes to mind, but I don’t remember the exact number. He has spoken with the district attorney, however, and he’s willing to just send him to jail for a few (eight, as it turns out) years. Hancock, naturally, doesn’t react very favorably to this – but Ray explains it to him, that he just has to go in for a little while, to make the public miss him. Crime will go up, and the public will want him back.
Eventually, he agrees. Ray writes him a speech, which he gives publicly to the press, saying how he’s the only one of his kind, and that he hasn’t been the man he should be – that they deserve better, and he will be better. So he goes behind bars. The inmates don’t exactly like him, and try to pick a fight – but he’s still a fucking superhero, so he hands their asses to them. Specifically, he jams one guy’s head up another guy’s ass.
He’s behind bars for a couple weeks, he even misses a shot with a basketball and it flies out of the fence, where he goes to get it, and just comes back in. Eventually, he gets a call from the chief of police, saying they need his help. There’s a heavily-armed bank robbery in progress, with hostages (lots of hostages), and they just can’t handle it. So he flies through the bank, like a bullet, several times – taking one of the robbers with him every time. Then he stops inside and starts speaking to Red (Eddie Marsan) – the guy running the show.
Turns out, every hostage has eight pounds of C4 strapped to them, and he’s holding the detonator. However, it’s got a spring trigger – if his finger leaves the button, the bombs go off. So Hancock grabs a metal lampshade, uses his fingernail to sharpen the edge, and cuts off the guy’s hand – he takes the whole thing and gives it to the police chief. From then on, he’s a free man, and good in the eyes of the public. But no, it’s not over yet.
Ray, Mary, and Hancock all go out for a free dinner at some very high-class restaurant in the city. Here, we learn about how Hancock came to have his powers – he just woke up in a Miami hospital with them one day. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up there; where he came from, who he is, or how he got there – and all he had in his pocket were those tickets and a couple dollar bills, no ID or anything. When he woke up, though, they tried giving him a needle and it simple broke off at his skin; his skull healed in an hour. As it turns out, the hospital staff told him, he tried to stop a mugging and suffered a nasty blow to the back of the head. Oh yeah, and this was 80 years ago – he doesn’t age.
They get back to Ray and Mary’s house later that night, and Ray’s drunk – Hancock carries him up the stairs and helps him get to bed. Then he goes back downstairs and starts talking to Mary. They kiss, and then she throws him through the front wall of the house. Through it. And tells him not to say a word about it to Ray.
The next morning, Ray basically goes “WTF?” in regard to the front of the house, and Mary says Hancock sneezed and blew the refrigerator out of the house. When Hancock arrives, he keeps screwing with Mary – stabbing her and watching the fork bend, things like that – when Ray has his head turned. He continues this until she finally agrees to speak with him, at his place later that day.
When she arrives, she explains that what they are depends on the culture; they’ve been called many things over the years – gods, angels, and finally, superheroes. Then he asks what their relationship was. She responds saying that they’re siblings – but he calls bullshit on that because of the way she kissed him. So they end up flying around destroying things as they fight, and ultimately, they break the windows out of the floor of the office building that Ray is on, and land in the street right outside.
Naturally, Ray (yet again) reacts like…”WTF?” – but he comes to grips with it pretty quickly after they go back to his house. That’s when we find out that Mary and Hancock were actually married, and that there used to be lots of their kind – but they all paired off and died except these two. They were built in pairs, sort of like magnets – no matter how much distance gets between them, they’re always attracted inexplicably to each other, which is why he made his way to LA after waking up in Miami. The problem is, when they’re together, they’re basically human – they lose all their powers, their immortality, etc.
So, once she’s done explaining this, Hancock flies off, and the next scene we see is Hancock in a liquor store – about to buy a soda. Instead, he picks up a couple bottles of whiskey and takes them up to the counter. The clerk tells him, “$91.10″ – and naturally, the reaction is a “WTF?” – so the clerk covers the 0 and looks to his left a bit; turns out, he’s being robbed at gunpoint. Hancock reaches through the wall hiding them and pulls them out – while he’s punching one, he gets shot a couple times.
Well, apparently he’s been spending too much time around Mary – because he’s bleeding from the abdomen; the clerk is the first one to notice it, and apparently he calls an ambulance, because Hancock gets rushed to the hospital – where Mary meets him. The robber from the bank and the two guys from the prison end up breaking out, with the sole intention of getting back at Hancock. While they’re at the hospital, the trio comes in with the intention of killing Hancock – and Mary jumps in the way of the shots.
Both Hancock and Mary are pronounced dead. Due to a bit of distance between them, though, Hancock wakes up, and slowly makes his way to a window, where he jumps out. As he gets further away from the hospital (mostly on foot, with some long half-flight jumps punctuating it), Mary’s heart slowly beats back to life. Finally, he gets his full power of flight back, and shoots like a bullet straight in the direction of the moon – and Mary’s heart reaches a full rhythm.
And now, the ending scene. Mary, Ray, and Aaron are all out for ice cream, when Hancock calls Ray using a Bluetooth from atop some skyscraper – with an eagle next to him. He tells Ray to look up in the sky – and he painted Ray’s philanthropic logo on the moon.
And that’s the movie. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest it