Higher Movies: Hancock

by Stan Lemon

I’m a huge Will Smith fan. I have been most of my life. I remember saving up quarters to buy an old black and white television at a neighbor’s garage sale just so I could watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns on UPN. My first album was the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff’s Code Red, which probably pre-dates most who will read this article. Despite my mother’s insistence that I not see Six Degrees of Separation, I broke the fourth commandment and snuck to the theater to see Will Smith’s first movie. Later on I would collect all of his movies and albums. I even enjoyed and own Wild Wild West despite getting horrible reviews at the Box Office. I’m a huge Will Smith fan.

I went to see Hancock because there isn’t a Will Smith movie I haven’t seen. I’ve never been disappointed. I learned how to be cool from Men in Black and I even learned how to date from Hitch. I figured after movies like Pursuit of Happiness and I am Legend Will couldn’t make bad movies. I spoke to soon…

Hancock unfortunately follows in a growing trend of Box Office Bombs that have all-star lineups, decent story lines and awful writing. Will’s character is original and kind of cool, He’s an alien created as part of a pair. His pair is his true love, and when he is near her he becomes mortal – weak. Love kind of does that to people… He becomes estranged from his love after a blow to the head. Depressed that he doesn’t know who he is he becomes self-destructive while putting people in jail.

It’s kind of cool when you think about it; here is a superhero whose weakness is another whom he has been made especially for. Created for that individual our superhero becomes weak, taking on mortality in love rather than immortality. Then, to top it all off our superhero finds that when the world is after him they go after his love. In the end, the superhero’s love finds death and only through the superhero’s seeking his own death does his love find life.

If you set aside the fact that Hancock is a vulgar drunk in the beginning of the movie we can begin to see a bit of a Christocentric character in Him. Our Lord’s “weakness” is His flesh, which He takes on not to get closer to God but to get closer to man. In His weakness He is the Father’s love, dying on a Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. There too, in His death we are raised from our own death, freed from our bondage and resurrected to a new life in Him. Still now, when our Lord comes close to us it’s not as a superhero – not in glory or majesty, but rather in lowly mortality, flesh and blood. Our Lord’s love is in His death, in taking and eating and taking and drinking His body and blood, given and shed for you. All this because the Lord and maker of all has begotten His Son in order to save us.

All in all I suggest waiting for this one to come out at the Family Video. While I appreciate the story and think it was a rather original superhero spin, the dialogue is so bad it’s almost painful at times. Will Smith fans be warned; this movie just doesn’t measure up. I give this summer blockbuster three lemons, it’s bad but it still has Will Smith so it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.


Stan Lemon, also known as The Fresh Prince of the Burgh, lives in Pennsylvania with his dog Ivan and wife Sara.


Created: July 9th, 2008