(ag) wrote: Hancock, the World's Most Hated Super-HeroSuper heroes are loved and respected people who use their special abilities to save the world. That statement applies to every super hero, except Hancock. Unlike your average super hero, Hancock, a consistently drunk man that isn't sure how he came into existence, spends his time wandering the city of Los Angeles "helping those in need." Realistically, he helps people in danger, but in a reckless manner where his "heroic" actions cost the city millions of dollars because of the mass destruction he seems to always conduct. From the very first scene one can conclude what kind of a person Hancock is. The movie starts with him waking up on a public bench hung-over, angrily yelling at anyone who approached him. Hancock was wearing ragged clothing to show he doesn't care about his appearance to others. He clearly had something that disturbed him emotionally, but chose to act disrespectfully to others to conceal his sadness with anger. This scene alone shows Hancock's nonchalant and disrespectful behavior towards other people. Hancock always stands up straight with his broad shoulders, showing his dominance over others. Hancock passively doesn't care about anything going on around him, but if something stands up against him, Hancock will make sure to destroy whatever it is that's in his way. Hancock basically does whatever he wishes. Hancock has the power to never be harmed, be stronger than anyone could ever imagine, and even fly. However, he isn't sure how he scientifically received the super powers he holds. From what Hancock remembers, he just woke up in a hospital one day and was super-human. The doctors told Hancock he was rushed to the hospital after a traumatic head injury, destined to die but was miraculously healed. Hancock, estimated to never live another day, had his skull crushed by some people that jumped him. His head healed over night without any doctor's help and Hancock received super powers. This supernatural occurrence is significant in the movie because it separates Hancock with the rest of humanity, simply because no human could ever survive such an extreme incident. This miraculous recovery had one fatal flaw; Hancock had no recollection of his past. Hancock had severe amnesia to the extent that he remembered nothing previous to waking up. This leads the viewer to temporarily interpret Hancock's past, and hold suspense for it to be later revealed. The movie does an incredible job of leaving loose ends in situations, resulting in the viewer to make his/her own assumptions about the missing information. When Hancock was rushed to the hospital, no one was there to see if he was okay. Hancock was left lying on his deathbed in an all white hospital room with nobody but himself, and was unable to even remember anything in his past. This is what brings upon the two main conflicts in the movie, Hancock's search for his past, and the search for his purpose. This conflict is what makes "Hancock" different from every other super hero movie. All other super hero movies have a main conflict with the fight between good and evil, but because Hancock was ultimately invincible, evil was not a threat to him. Instead, because Hancock had nobody there for him and no remembrance of anything, he decided to act recklessly because he didn't know whom he truly was and was upset about it. His reckless actions varied from throwing a kid millions of feet in the air, to destroying a boat by tossing a whale on top of it. Hancock would never admit it, but he lives a sad, lonely, and drunk life because he has no past, and no purpose for his future. After Hancock's recovery, he built himself a very bad reputation. He was reckless through all his actions, leading everyone to think he is an asshole (which is Hancock's least favorite name to be called). One can conclude that Hancock's reckless actions happen because of his internal conflict, so by overcoming his conflicts, Hancock will ultimately change his careless ways. One day, Hancock helped save a man named Ray when a train was about to hit him. When doing so, he destroyed the train along with many cars so the public hated Hancock for his deed. Ray, however, was the only person to accept his good deed and befriended Hancock. Similar to the fourth step in the hero's journey, Hancock meets his mentor, Ray. To show his thanks for his life being saved, Ray offered to assist Hancock by helping him build a good reputation, and ultimately help him resolve one of the his conflicts, finding his purpose in life. By building himself a good reputation, Hancock would be respected as the city's superhero. The start of Hancock's new reputation begins with him giving a speech amongst a crowd of millions, formally apologizing for his reckless actions. After that, Ray helped Hancock by convincing him to spend time in jail to make up for the damage he had done. This time in jail was important not because he was serving justice behind bars, but because this was the time period where Hancock started figuring out who he really was. The time he was isolated in his jail cell symbolized his life after his recovery because he was with no one but himself, hoping to mend his past. The time Hancock spent with the inmates was just like his life out in public in the sense he had no regards for anyone unless they stood up against him. He spent weeks in jail before the Los Angeles police force allowed an early release because they needed his assistance in stopping a bank robbery. The robbery consisted of five armed men, holding up many civilians with C4 strapped to their chests. When Hancock had arrived, he was wearing a green costume. This is very significant because the color green represents an inner conflict in a hero, just like the Hulk. Hancock graciously helped stop the robbery and instantly was respected as a good man throughout the city. Just as Hancock solved his first conflict of finding a purpose in life, his other conflict came into play, his past. Mary, Ray's wife, seemed to not like Hancock because of him being a bad influence. The first scene they meet is in her home during dinner, where she showed disgust towards Hancock. This foreshadows a conflict stirring between the two, leaving the viewer to see Ray's wife as a potential threat. However, her negative feelings for Hancock had a lot more to do with him than being a bad influence. Mary actually played a big role in Hancock's past. Mary, who we thought was a normal woman turned out to have the same super power abilities Hancock does. The whole time Mary was Hancock's former wife. Mary and Hancock are the only two people in the world with super powers. For some reason, fate always draws the two together to love and be with each other, but this only hurts them. The way their super powers work is the further away they are from each other, the more powerful they are. That is, when they are distant from each other they are invincible, but together they are just normal humans. This is important in the movie because before this point in the movie, Hancock could never be harmed. Every time fate leads the two together, they coincidentally run into danger that they can't handle because they are just normal humans when together. The whole time Mary tried to distance herself from Hancock not because she thought he was a bad influence, but because she secretly knew that they were not safe together. Mary revealed to Hancock that the reason why Hancock doesn't remember his past is because the last time they were together, Hancock was jumped and his skull was cracked resulting in his memory loss. She told him that they have been alive for over 3000 years, staying separated until they are brought together by fate and barely survive, leading them to separation again. This brings about a third conflict, a never-ending conflict between love and separation. Mary, even though still in love with Hancock, attempted to distance herself from Hancock after his skull was cracked. Her plan was to never reveal his past to him so they wouldn't come in contact with each other and be safe forever. Now that Hancock understands his past and his purpose in life, he simply has to keep himself away from Mary at all times, so he decided to move to New York. Hancock may have overcome his first two conflicts but he will be forever fighting the third conflict, his inner battle of love. In New York, Hancock accepted the fact that he has to stay away from Mary and continued to live out his duty of being a super hero. Hancock had to overcome the greatest challenge of any super hero, the fight for his own identity. Hancock over the course of the movie received the knowledge to learn his past and purpose, and the strength to overcome love. Fighting a bad guy is much simpler than fighting an enemy in yourself. Hancock acted recklessly because of his conflicting emotions, but was able to overcome that throughout the movie. The central theme of the movie is that there aren't only two sides to a fight (good vs. evil), but a much greater war that happens internally. Hancock's internal battle will never end because he has to always distance himself from Mary, but if done, Hancock will remain the most powerful super hero to ever live. Hancock, just like any other human, acted out in a disrespectful way because he was unsure of who he was. Just like Hancock, everyone has to find his/her purpose in life and learn to apply it to our world.
(ag) wrote: In 1988, a spaceship carrying an enslaved alien race crash-lands in the Mojave Desert. Three years later, the aliens now known as the "Newcomers" (or "Slags" to human racists) have been intergrated into Earth society. The movie is set in Los Angeles, California. "LAPD Police Detective Matthew Sykes" (James Caan) and his partner are patroling the area of "The City of Angels" known as "Slag Town" when they come to a "Newcomer"-owned convenience store that is being robbed by heavily armed "Newcomers", who have a human look-out. The partner is killed by powerful artillary that is loaded into the weapon of one of the "Newcomers". Just before backup arrive on scene, the one who killed "Sykes'" partner gets away. The next day, "Sykes'" captain announces that a "Newcomer" has been promoted to the rank of Detective, and asks for volunteers to show him the ropes. The "Newcomer" is "Sam Francisco" (Mandy Patinkin), one of the officers who came as backup to "Sykes" and his now dead partner. "Sykes" builds up the courage and volunteers to take "Francisco" as a partner. After learning his partner's full name, "Sykes" nicknames his new partner "George". The newly named "George" then informs his new partner that in his native language, "Sykes" is the combination of two words that makeup "sh-t head". "Sykes" decides that the two will go after who killed his deceased partner. After a few leads, the two wind-up at a chemical plant where "Newcomers" are employed because their race has a tolerance for methane gas. The detectives then begin to unravel an alien drug ring which involves well-respected "Newcomer" businessman "William Harcourt" (Terence Stamp). There are a few verbal jokes, many of which "Sykes" and "Francisco" bounce off one another. "Sykes" is a streetwise veteran cop, while "Francisco" would rather follow regulations to the letter. The performances of Caan and Patinkin makes their characters a great "odd couple" on-screen. "Newcomer" makeup is well done and pretty convincing. All "Newcomers" are portrayed in a way that makes you forget they are extraterrestrials until they speak in the "Newcomer" language. The entire movie is well-paced with just enough action to get the story over with the audience. And the story advances quite nicely to get to the resolve of all the subplots. In the end, "Sykes" and "Francisco" not only become closer partners, but close friends. Unfortunately, the writer of the movie forgot that this is science-fiction. Instead you get a typical cop movie where one of the cops is bent on bringing in those responsible for the death of his partner and getting a drug off the streets. Despite that one flaw, the movie is not bad and pretty much deserves it's cult status.