The superhero genre has been Hollywood’s most popular form of filmmaking for the last two decades, and the sheer volume of content on offer is making it increasingly difficult for any project to put a fresh spin on the standard tropes. For a while, it looked as though Hancock could be that movie, but it wasn’t to be.
The original concept had spent over a decade in development hell, and you get why none of the major studios wanted to take a risk on making it. An R-rated deconstruction of comic book blockbusters, the title hero was a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed asshole who had no interest in saving the world.
For the first third of Peter Berg’s film, that’s pretty much what we get, even if Hancock had to be heavily edited to secure a PG-13 rating. Our introduction to Will Smith’s titular antihero plays with our expectations, leading us to believe that we’re in store for something special.
Sadly, around the halfway mark Hancock throws all sense of originality out of the window to become a bland, uninspired tale of destiny that ends with an orgy CGI destruction.
A huge missed opportunity, albeit one that still made $629 million at the box office, it’s a striking example of playing it safe and wasting almost all of the potential in the process. However, the $150 million adventure has nonetheless rebounded on streaming to fly onto the HBO Max most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.