Part of the problem with Hancock is the tone of the film. There are times when the movie has some extreme acts of violence, one being a guy getting his hand chopped off. And other times the movie goes for the big laughs. None of it is really handled that well. There feels like there was a lot of reediting and re-shoots to the scripts.
Director Peter Berg’s shaky cam works in movies like The Kingdom and Friday Nights Lights, but it does not fit in this superhero context. There were times when the camera would shake for no apparent reason. Berg’s lopsided direction isn’t the only problem with this movie either.
A superhero is only as good as his villains are. And, Hancock really doesn’t have any villains that are his equal. He mostly goes about beating the living crap out of normal human beings that are bad guys. So, there isn’t a person for that makes a fight a challenge, and it hurts the film considerably. All they needed to do was add a villain that was really just as powerful as he was. (Yes, there is someone that has his power, but that person doesn’t end up becoming a bad guy.)
The special effects range from being bad to fairy good. Each time Hancock lands it’s believable because he leaves a hole in the ground or destroys things when he takes off. The flipping of a car in the air was a bit cheap.
With a so-so script and misguided direction, it’s hard to say exactly where this movie went wrong. It might be too dark for children and too dull for action fans, so it is difficult to recommend this film. Hancock isn’t a bad film, but has some serious problems that keep it from being a good film.