Embrey brings him home and invites him in for dinner where Hancock meets Embrey’s son and wife (Charlize Theron). Our hero is not accustomed to being around families in general or children in particular and has dinner conversation skills that leave a lot to be desired as far as Embrey’s wife, Mary is concerned. She spends the evening looking at Hancock as someone she’d like to get away from her family ASAP.
Of course eventually Embrey turns Hancock around and makes him into a hero, but the movie also goes down a road that caught me by surprise.
So what works? Will Smith. It was fascinating watching him play a less than lovable character. I really liked the way his evolution from the character we met at the opening to the heroic character took so long to happen. He was portrayed as truly reluctant, one more than one level and it made the transformation that much more believable.
I also liked the amount of collateral damage he caused at the beginning of the film and the real-world reactions to it. One of the things you learn as a comic book fan is that you probably wouldn’t want to live in a city where they fight crime. They cause millions in damage every time the fight some supervillain.
What knocked the score down? The villain of the film comes out of nowhere, barely gets any screen time and just doesn’t even seem like they’re a part of the movie – so it was kind of non-sequiter. I won’t get into spoilers, but considering what the villain knows about Hancock, how this person figured they’d be able to actually kill him is beyond me.
However the end result was pretty damned entertaining (the pre-screen audience applauded when it was over), and stick around for a couple of minutes once the credits start rolling to see a really great bonus scene (no need to hang around to the end of the credits, though). Just do me a favor and get a babysitter: Hancock is not a “fun” movie for kids.