Posted by: Dr P | June 2, 2008


As the 7.24am train to Birmingham pulled slowly out of Piccadilly station, it left behind one disconsolate soul, shaking a fist and muttering barely audible obscenities. No ticket, no friends, no work colleagues … and the most important meeting in the history of my work slowly disappearing into the distance … of course, when everyone turned up 5 minutes later with my tickets and told me we were actually on the 7.54 train all was well again.

A day that began in abject disappointment ended with some glee, as we headed off to Bury to watch Hancock, the latest Will Smith summer blockbuster. Things were already on the up by the time we’d hit the car park. Imagine trying to do a Victor Meldrew impersonation in an Indian accent while performing a credible version of Vanilla Ice’s “Running Man” dance step. Yes, I was giddy.

Things got even better as we approached the counter, and for some strange reason I couldn’t say the title of the film without using some bizarre pseudo-cockney accent … “Hayyyyyyncock. Hayyyyyyncock.”. No need to worry. The guy serving us was called Rab, or Raz, or Zab, or Zar, or something, and as he was printing the tickets, he was humming the Thunderbirds tune. AND HE ACTUALLY SANG HIS REPLIES TO US. Oh. My. God.

Anyway, into the cinema and the merriment continued as we saw trailers for – among others – “The Love Guru”, the new Mike Myers comedy which looks hilarious; the new Bond film, “Quantum of Solace”. Yummy; and the third “Mummy” film. Fab! It’s already been an awesome year at the movies, and it’s only going to get better.

So, what’s Hancock about? OK, basically, Will Smith plays the title character, who’s an indestructible superhero … who is also a drunk, a bum, a layabout, and completely uncaring of the society around him. His actions, however wll-intentioned – inevitably end in more cost and trouble, he creates mayhem while trying to solve crime, and the public generally hate him.

Meanwhile Ray is an advertising guru, and a less-than-successful one. Hancock saves his life after his car gets stranded in front of a train and Ray immediately sees an opportunity to transform his saviour into a publicly loved figure. Ray’s wife, meanwhile, is massively against the idea and regards Hancock with some suspicion. Of course there’s far more to it than that, but I can;t spoil the big twist that ensues.

So in order to appease society, Hancock spends some time in jail, where he introduces a number of inmates to his unique brand of justice. Mr Head … meet Mr Ass. After several weeks behind bars, the chief of police calls for his aid, and Will catapults out of there, resplendent in a fab new superhero outfit … “Whaaaaat? Yeah, it’s a little tight”.

There then follows a quite dramatic development, and we see Hancock’s immortality threatened. I can’t reveal any more of the story at this point, but it is quite touching and remains action-packed.

Will Smith is as good as ever, and while there aren’t any pant or jaw dropping moments like his naked bit in “I Am Legend”, our guy eats up the screen. Charlize Theron also shines as Ray’s wife, while there are any number of laugh out loud moments, mainly when things go wrong. I still love the bit with the whale and the yacht!

Well worth a night out, whether you’rea big fan of Will or not. Oh and as is traditional with Will’s movies, no animals are harmed. No, hang on …

Will Smith – 10
Action – 8
Pathos – 7
Silly twist – 9
Whale and yacht moment – 11
Vanilla Ice dancing – 10
Car park embarrassment factor – 9.5


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