Will Smith explodes onto the screen in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favour 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 (Charlize Theron, “Aeon Flux”) with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past. A past that will have earth shattering consequences…
2008 – Certificate 15 – American Film
Strong language, sex and violence
9.0 out of 10
I sort of remember Hancock’s comedy genius from when I was young. Not so much directly, but more from my Father, who was a bit of a fan. So I was understandably worried when I first found out that Hollywood was going to make a film about his life; and even more concerned when I found out it was going to ‘reimagine’ him as a superhero and have a Black guy play his part. I like Will Smith, but Tony Hancock lived in East Cheam and I’d hazard a guess and say there weren’t a lot of Black people living in that part of Surrey in the late 50s. Fortunately, this modern film biography captures many facets of his life; his comedy timing, his ‘loser persona’, his personal fight with alcohol, his wife’s attempted suicide, his affairs with other men’s wives. It’s all here. Not only that, but it also cleverly introduces the plot from his most famous film, “The Rebel”. In this, he plays the part of someone else, whilst the title itself is also well reflected by Smith’s superb portrayal of the part in this new movie. It’s a much-see for all fans of British, post-war, kitchen sink comedy. Oh wait; I’ve fucked up again here haven’t I?
For some reason that I’m not fully aware of, I love this film. I guess the idea that a superhero can be a scruffy, underachieving alcoholic who hates people, gives me hope for my own life. The script is surprisingly well observed and it manages to provide most of the elements you’d expect to see in a movie about a superhero, without becoming a parody of one. Will Smith is actually very good in it and manages to make Hancock seem genuinely not very nice, rather than a watered down Hollywood bad guy suitable for kids. For a ‘summer blockbuster’, it does pretty well on the darker elements of the story, violence and language. Then again, I watched the uncut version that basically has ten minutes or so of the good stuff that was removed for the version that was shown in most cinemas. (It was good to see all the “jackass” references replaced with the original “assholes”.) Of course it has a few crappy scenes, (the one with Hancock having sex is an especially cringe-worthy example of a pretty pointless one); and don’t bother trying to count the plot holes either. But overall it’s a brilliant action film with a fun story, original lead character and a surprising amount of gravitas when it needs it. I enjoyed the ending too, even though you sort of know what’s going to happen. Go watch.
This is the ‘action’ orientated trailer; there’s a ‘comedy’ one out there too. It’s okay, but it doesn’t really sell the film especially well, unless you’re just into big explosions and stuff. It’s a far more multi-layed movie that this makes it seem.
I really like the soundtrack to this film. It’s everything a soundtrack is meant to be, enhancing what’s on-screen without ever taking over.
Recommended for superheroes, losers, rebels, drunks and PR consultants.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It’s a film about a superhero. Go figure.
“Men in Black” follows the exploits of Agents K (Jones) and J (Smith), members of a top-secret organisation established to monitor alien activity on Earth. The two MIB find themselves in the middle of a deadly plot by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D’Onofrio) who has arrived on Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies. K and J face a simple imperative: track down the interloper or the Earth will be destroyed. It’s all in a day’s work for the Men in Black.
1997 – Certificate: PG – American Film
Rating Details: Mild language, violence and horror
7.5 out of 10
At last, another film that has aliens, spaceships and explosions in it, as well as a plot I can relate to in a very meaningful way. As well as dealing with the scum of the universe, I also work for an organisation that does its best to remain hidden, even down to changing its name on a regular basis, to help ensure we remain a secret. Along with a somewhat stupid smartphone and a Dell laptop with bits falling off it, I have one of those ‘flashy things’ (a neuralyzer) to make people forget stuff, too. And I’m certainly never seen in anything but a black suit/tie and white shirt combo. And as for the cool shades, well I bought mine from eBay for about £2. Will Smith is a talented chap. He can act, sing and dance. I guess when he talks to people about me he says, “that Paul’s a boring guy. He can’t do bugger all.”
For a sci-fi movie made 16 years ago, this one still holds up well; it hasn’t really dated at all. I watched it on Blu-ray and it looks really lovely in that way too. According to IMDB this film contains 1 possible f-word, 13 anatomical terms (including 2 uses of a term for male genitals, i.e. dick), 18 scatological terms (crap, shit and piss), 29 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities and 2 religious exclamations. There’s also some name-calling (bastard, prick, etc). Sadly, I had to watch the censored version, which of all this lot chooses to replace the word “prick” twice, with “twerp” and “jerk”. There must be a ‘league table’ of ‘bad words’ that people refer to, to find out how bad each one is. I wonder how they check if it’s correct? Get a big group of people in a room, swear at them a lot and see how offended they get? Funny thing is, someone must have sat down and made a record of all that; I bet that job’s a conversation starter at parties. “What do you do for a living then?” “Me? Well I count profanities.” You may also be interested to know that “the principal female character wears a short skirt that reveals a lot of her bare legs. Once, for less than a split second, it hikes up to reveal a little of her lower buttocks.” I must have missed that, I guess I’ll have to go back and use the frame-by-fame function to check for myself; thanks IMDB for letting me know, that’s my evening’s entertainment sorted out. It’s not even that short either. Actually I think I look a bit like Will Smith.
The music in this film is a bit of a disappointment. Danny Elfman wrote the totally brilliant music for “Batman”. I even bought the soundtrack of that on CD. But for this film he seems to have had a bit of an off-day. It’s serviceable but entirely forgettable. On the other hand, we do get Will Smith and his fun theme tune.
Recommended for anyone that works for a secret organisation, aliens and females that wear short skirts.
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A true, starring role for a lovely ginger and white cat, complete with some real acting and lines. He/she just blew Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith off the stage.
Top badass moment? There’s something to be said for driving a souped up car along the roof of an underground tunnel full of traffic and taking the time out to give some advice to your passenger about dealing with stress at work; whilst singing along to Elvis and trying to save the Earth. Even I don’t get to do that every week. That’s therefore very cool and very badass.