Smith and Charlize Exciting in ‘Hancock’
Will Smith and Charlize Theron say Hancock not your father’s superhero – 4 stars ****
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 6/24/08 – “There hasn’t been a new superhero in maybe forty years,” says Will Smith who plays the title character in Columbia Pictures ‘Hancock’. “Spider-Man, Iron Man and Batman and Superman, those were our fathers’ superheros. It’s very hard to create a new superhero.”
“It’s so hard to come up with something original,” says Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron. “I think that it’s always brave to take something that’s a quintessential loved genre, which is the superhero, especially in the American culture, to kind of turn that upside-down and say, let’s look at that from a completely different angle. What if superheros weren’t perfect?”
“Hancock doesn’t know everything about Hancock,” says Smith. “Things begin to reveal themselves in the
second half.” Theron says, “We have to get him into a situation where he can turn his life around.”
“We looked in the creation of Hancock at Greek mythology,” says Smith. “There were gods and everything, but they had regular problems.”
“What if they were actually closer to us as human beings?” says Theron. “What if they were alcoholics and they were tired of saving people? What if they were actually lonely and wished they had love? Basically, a superhero on Dr. Phil.”
“He drinks a little too much,” says Smith. “He’s an alcoholic superhero. He can fly, but he flies drunk. He flies into buildings. The only difficult part was the flying. We built these flying rigs. A lot of the flying stuff is real, practical, in the air, gravity.”
“The technology out there today is just incredible,” says Theron. “And what they can do is absolutely insane. I think it’s become a little safer, especially since I did ‘Aeon Flux’.” The star had to take a month from filming ‘Aeon Flux’ after she injured her back doing her own stunts.
“I like that we were creating a new superhero, and I like that he was flawed,” says Theron. “What I liked about this is it was the most human story that I’ve read in a long time. It really dealt with the human condition. As actors you’re always inspired and excited to delve into a world that deals with human behavior. I thought it was flawed and interesting.”
“Hancock said everything he wanted to say and did everything that he wanted to do,” says Smith. “It’s so opposite of how I lead own life. There’s so much concern and care to say and do things right in the press. I just love that Hancock doesn’t care at all.”
“My character gets to really fall on her face and learning what that means for her,” says Theron. “I’m always interested to play women who are conflicted and find themselves in environments where they don’t always get to make the best decisions. Where life takes over and emotion takes over and human behavior takes over.”
“She likes being a teacher and loves driving her stepson to soccer until the day this guy drops in,” says Theron. “Hancock. She hates him. She absolutely hates him. There’s a real animosity instantly towards him, which of course means she’s crazy about him, in girl terms. Boys don’t realize that. The meaner we are, the more we’re into you.”
“It was a great time,” says Theron. “It was a pleasure. Will and I had done a film eight years ago called the legend of Bagger Vance. We had a great time on that. We didn’t get to work together as much on that as we did on this. Jason and I worked on Arrested Development together. I knew him and fell in love with him a bit on that. Peter is great energy. He’s crazy, but really smart.”
“The cast was hugely important,” says Smith. “He likes to ‘find it’. “The way that Pete Berg likes to shoot is unrehearsed. The cameras are all handheld so everybody can move. If you do something, great, he can go in and get it. There’s an improvisational free-form feeling.
Hancock owes a lot to ‘Spider-Man’, another superhero who was an ordinary guy who had power thrust upon him. For Hancock, a superhero with no mission, with great power comes great irresponsibility. A drunk Hancock still saves lives. However, the collateral property damage is extensive. An idealistic publicist takes Hancock under his wing to give him a make-over.
Will Smith brings likability and rough charm. Charlize Theron looks beautiful and a tremendous actress, as always. Jason Bateman plays the straight man, setting up the laughs. The title ‘Hancock’ was thankfully changed from the working title of ‘Tonight, He Comes.”
‘Hancock’ is funny with lots of action, although a bit violent and derelict. Great for superhero fans.
Release Date: July 2nd, 2008 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and language
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Filming Locations: Los Angeles
Duration: 90 minutes
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