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Named after the famous signatory of the US Declaration of Independence whose flamboyant handwriting became synonymous with the word "signature" itself, the new John Hancock is a totally different character altogether---an ill-tempered, alcoholic superhero.

Now the idea itself is fresh, and it differs from Iron Man in that Iron Man is just a regular human being, without any superpowers, so his flaws are understandably human. Hancock, on the other hand, is a superhuman, and it is rather interesting to watch a superhuman with human flaws.

Will Smith tones down his acting, staying true to the character, and actually succeeds in making the audience sympathize with him. Jason Bateman plays the nice guy Ray, the PR consultant who gives Hancock an inside-out makeover. Of course, Mr. Bateman is a natural at playing nice guys, so there really is no problem there. And of course, Charlize Theron plays the hot mama, and you're going to have to watch the movie to find out what her character's really about.

The reason this movie doesn't quite make it in my book is the storyline itself. It starts out great, with a flying drunk superhero who fights crime while destroying city property at the same time. I was expecting a sort of in-depth character analysis of Hancock, showing us every facet of his otherwise depressing superhero life. But the movie takes a dramatic twist at the end, which I believe was the producers' way of creating a smooth transition to a possible sequel. Anyway, with a character-driven plot that compromises its character, no amount of brilliant directing, even from someone like the talented Peter Berg, can save it.

But again, my review is just my opinion, and my opinion is as good as yours, so I suggest you just go and watch it yourself, to keep you occupied before Christian Bale and Heath Ledger take control of the box office.

Rating: Three stars.


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