Friday, July 11, 2008

Hancock - half a great film!

A surprise last night as B bought tickets for us to go watch Hancock at the local cinema. The Broadway Villa (probably the only state run cinema in the Western world - owned, as it is, by the Manx Government) - has all the appeal of someone's front room - but we got great seats and settled in (sans popcorn :( ) for a movie that has been successfully hyped through Sky Movies specials.

The movie starts off well - the ever likeable Will Smith as a drunken superhero causing loadsa damage when he gets involved in heroic duties. He's not the smartest superduder - but it does make for excellent comedy moments with a train wreck and car chase and landing/taking off. There's even some Frenchie-bashing - which is never a bad thing.

The movie hurtles along at super-speed as Hancock reluctantly agrees to serve porridge and spends some quality time with guys that he put behind bars - rehabilitation not coming easy and he's called upon by the city during a particularly nasty bank robbery.

All good so far. Throw in some yuk-yuk's, more special effects - introduce a big baddy and 'wallah' - fun-time family superhero movie! Unfortunately, around mid point of the movie - the whole storyline swerves, derails like a previous traincrash and comes to a messy, pointless second half that jars the superherodic nature and just doesn't fit together at all.

I'll not spill the silly 'turning point' midway thru the film - if you've seen it, you know. However, I will tell you what this film has suffered - and it lands slap back in the lap of the screenwriters. This movie suffers from the precise anal following of 'The three-act structure'.

From the introduction within 3 minutes where you know the faults of the hero and what he has to overcome, to the inciting incident that will lead to his first 'plot point' (jail time) and starting Act 2. Up to and including the 'mid-point' half way thru the film that turns the whole movie in (a supposed) new and exciting direction.

Ugh. Yuck. Hancock and the three act structure. How not to write a movie. Perhaps it was being polished in needing of shooting before the scriptwriters strike last year. Perhaps they rolled in a barrell full of monkeys and told em to finish the script, tacking a big 3-act structure sheet on the wall in front of them.

Anyhoo. Hancock is half of a great film. Excellent stuff, so long as you set your watch for one hour into the movie and get up and leave at that precise moment. Sure, you won't know how it ends. But your imagination'll fill in the gaps and you'll be a happier camper for it.

1 comment:

PaulB said...

Dunno about all this 3 act stuff but I just felt that the whole "after the reveal" part of the movie was rushed. From coming out of prison to end of movie in the blink of an eye. I'm never normally one to complain that a movie was too short but it just seemed a bit stunted to me (bit like I Am Legend).

Enjoyable enough but not a keeper. :)