Hancock becomes the subject of Screen Junkies’ latest Honest Trailers video, as the series slams the confusing final act of Will Smith’s 2008 movie.
Screen Junkie’s Honest Trailers tackles Hancock in the latest installment of the series, as the series slams the confusing final act of Will Smith’s 2008 superhero movie. The Peter Berg-directed superhero black comedy starred Smith as the titular hero alongside Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, and Eddie Marsan. Hancock sees Smith’s alcoholic, irresponsible hero work alongside public relations specialist Ray Embrey (Bateman) to clean up his image and become a better superhero, learning the truth about his past and the origins of his remarkable powers in the process.
Nearly 15 years after it first hit theaters, Screen Junkies’ latest installment of their Honest Trailers series looks back at Berg and Smith’s subversive superhero comedy. The Honest Trailer focuses on Hancock’s convoluted and dissonant third act, poking fun at how the reveal that Ray’s wife, Mary (Theron) is a super-powered being with close ties to Hancock derails the film’s tone. Check out the latest video in Screen Junkie’s film-focused humorous series below:
Despite Hancock’s performance at the box office leading to the film becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2008, the film’s controversial second half has been subject to much criticism since its initial release. When audiences are introduced to the reckless hero, the film is focused on Hancock’s redemption in the eyes of the public, comedically deconstructing what audiences expected from the superhero genre at the time through the character. However, the reveal of Mary’s superhuman powers and her shared history with Hancock draws focus away from the film’s initial premise, choosing to instead explore Hancock’s past and the nature of his powers with a more serious tone. As such, each part of the film feels like they belong to two entirely different productions and create a tonally dissonant feature.
While Smith and Theron joined a Hancock sequel penned by Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara in 2009, no further developments have been made in the following decade, despite Berg and Theron’s openness to returning. While the film performed well at the box office and left both Hancock and Mary in a place where each character’s stories could be further explored, Berg revealed in a 2009 interview that it had been difficult gathering all the involved parties to develop the sequel. Furthermore, the superhero genre has enjoyed a boom in interest since Hancock premiered, with both Smith and Theron since taking on the roles of Deadshot and Clea in the DC Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, respectively. As such, both stars may not be keen on reprising their Hancock roles due to their obligations to other superhero franchises.
While discussions and concerns surrounding superhero fatigue have led to creatives and studios finding new ways to tackle the genre in a fresh and subversive manner, it can be argued that Hancock may have been ahead of its time. Despite its tonally dissonant third act, Hancock explored the more mundane and less shining examples of what superherodom could bring long before series like The Boys offered audiences a brutal, more cynical view of how superhumans could act and affect life on-screen. As such, Honest Trailer’s latest video is a throwback to a different era that gives audiences a new but frank glimpse at Smith’s first foray into the superhero genre.