I quite liked Hancock, but it’s not perfect.
I didn’t like the direction at all. The entire movie consists primarily of close-ups, and it just got old and noticeable after a little while. Add in the little bit of shakiness they gave it and I felt like I was watching an episode of NYPD Blue. It didn’t kill the movie for me, but it was a little irritating when I let myself think about it. Looking over Peter Berg’s resume, it looks like he’s worked a lot on television over the past few years, and it kind of shows.
Glancing over some of the reviews, it seems the critics wanted a much different movie from what they got. They all seem to like the first half of the film, then got thrown by the “big twist.”
The huge turn in the movie was actually very heavily foreshadowed. I don’t get why critics didn’t see it coming. It does take the movie in a different direction, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The original premise of the movie (“What if Superman were a dick?”) is a bit gimmicky and I doubt it would have carried a whole film. At the same time, it’s a bit unfortunate that the turn they took 1) created more questions than answers, 2) provided a (partial) origin story when they really didn’t need one at all, and 3) robbed time from developing potential villains. The basic idea was fine, but it was perhaps not so well executed. The movie could have easily been half an hour longer.
But really, it was a pretty entertaining movie. It’s worth checking out. It’s nice having a superhero movie that isn’t somebody staring in awe at their own hands for an hour.