Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Peter Berg's unconventional new take on the superhero film is worth seeing. Don't listen to the critics who trashed Hancock. Listen to me! Jason Bateman plays the nebbishy mortal who "saves" the superhero, or rather super-antihero, played with an unremittingly brooding presence by Will Smith - the only actor who could possibly pull that off and still manage to make it fun. This is a hero with attitude - mostly bad - who nevertheless manages to redeem himself, but only in time to get The Bad News. Hence the somewhat naughty language and the scene (worth the price of admission) depicting one man with his head up another.

Forming the third tip of the love-triangle is the sultry yet motherly (?!) Charlize Theron. Eddie Marsan puts in a memorable supporting performance as a red-bearded villain who proves as funny as scary, while the plot serves up romantic tragedy, mindblowing surprise, and unanswered riddles that will keep your gray cells working even after the last scene (which, FYI, is some way into the closing credits).

You gotta admire a movie that clearly doesn't care whether anyone likes to look at it or not. Nevertheless it has its share of eye candy, including (besides Theron) a high-flying bully, a "gee, that Superman is a mean drunk" flying rescue scene, and a spin-you-around-till-you-puke dolly shot which simply screams "THIS IS A PIVOTAL MOMENT!!!" Plus, the dialogue is cool. CONVICT 1: "Use your hurt words. How did he make you feel?" CONVICT 2: "Sore."

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