5 Ways to Make Hancock (2008) Better

Hancock Movie Picture Will SmithI just Hancock, the superhero action-comedy starring Will Smith as a drunken bastard of a superhero. While the guy stops crime and saves people, he does so with complete disregard for his reputation and city property, often causing millions of dollars in damage every time he shows up to save the day.

The movie is pretty good and always entertaining, with lots of laughs and some good action. That being said, the movie isn’t without its flaws, and while I was able to look past them for the most part, there are some people that are not going to like the direction the movie takes at all. For a spoiler-free movie review of Hancock, click here. For a list of what I would have done differently to make Hancock one of the most solid films of the summer, read on.

Note, this list does contain major SPOILERS, as there is a pretty surprising twist in the movie that you won’t see coming.

Here are five ways Hancock could have been better:

  1. Keep the laughs going in the second half in the movie, or deliver some major action.
    After the big twist is revealed, the movie loses a lot of its laughs and it focuses more on character back story. This is fine – if there were some giant, Transformers-size action sequences waiting for us. There are some good action scenes, but not explosive ones; Peter Berg and his writers seemed to have forgotten that they were making an action-comedy.
  2. Have a central villain.
    The movie doesn’t have one. Enough said.
  3. Improve the special effects.
    While not great, they really didn’t detract from the film too much. Still, when the tornadoes show up and Will Smith and Charlize Theron start wailing on each other, things don’t look very realistic; nor do they make much sense. Why are there tornadoes again?
  4. Drop the back story.
    The back story for Hancock isn’t terrible, but isn’t necessary. I would have sacrificed an explanation of where he came from and how he got his powers a killer villain or an onslaught of huge action sequences. Learning that Hancock has been alive for thousands of years and blah blah blah is interesting and unique, but hardly necessary for a film like this.
  5. Make Charlize Theron the main bad guy.
    If you’re going to have the super hot Charlize Theron be a super-powered being as well – which in itself is a questionable move on the writers’ part – at least make her the villain. Have it revealed that she killed off everyone else like them so she could be a God, or something like that. Either way, make her one crazy bitch.
By Erik Samdahl
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  • I actually agree with most of your changes but I think some of these problems could have just been solved if the filmmakers narrowed their focus a little. The filmmakers just tried to do to many things in this movie. There are comedy, action, superhero, drama, and even some romance (to a point). If the filmmakers would have just dropped one or two of these genres I think the movie would have been much better. The filmmakers could have focused more on the genres that they stuck with and I think they could have made those aspects stronger.

    Despite these problems I agree that Hancock was still a good movie. The movie could have been much better though if these problems were fixed.

  • Theo

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. If you put a central villain in Hancock, then the movie would be just another superhero movie – and that would ruin the entire story. The movie would have been improved by ending with Hancock flying off when he left the hospital, and cutting off the scene where he’s talking to the family. What they needed to explore was the irresistible love of 3000 years versus responsibility for helping others that Hancock feels. The story of him discovering his origins, why the two are drawn together, and then a sacrifice made so that he can remain a hero is much more interesting than the hero versus bad guy cliche. A good follow up movie would have the pair of them give in to their love, get together, lose their powers, get hurt by this while others are hurt as well, and then resolve to remain apart at the end, or die together.

  • Hi Theo, I agree they needed to develop their history more; at the same time, I guess I was hoping it would be “just another superhero movie,” only not. I sort of wanted a witty, action-packed superhero movie, not a mythical, fate-driven approach.

  • Theo

    Hey Erik,

    Well, you totally are right for feeling that way – I mean, that’s how they billed the movie! Poor advertising, confused directing and story . . . they should have followed through with the storyline 100%, not half=baked, that never works.

  • Hi Theo, yeah, I wanted a Transformers-esque finale. Call me shallow, but that’s what I wanted!

  • Andy

    Uhm, perhaps you can put SPOILERS in RED next time… When your title says 5 ways to make a movie better, I just skip past all the fluff and read the 1-5… 🙁

    What further detracted from the all caps spoilers was you had a bold word below it (hancock), which caught my eyes first then I jumped down to 1-5.