My expectations were more than met with Hancock. Based on the preview I thought it would be a superhero movie with comic elements and I was right on both account. I knew that Will Smith as a clochard with an array of un-, under- and misused superpowers would find the way back to decency. That he did dropping plenty of one-liner jokes and multi-ton trucks along the way. What I had no idea was that it would be a family drama as well, with an unconventional love triangle, where true love in its various forms would win. As such it ended up having a positive message. It involves what Charlize Theron‘s character says at one point, “fate doesn’t decide everything. People get to choose.” I cannot say much more about this action-packed, light Hollywood extravaganza without spoiling it.
But as I recalled that I heard the main character’s name (John Hancock) so I had to check upon him. Turns out (and I should have known) that he was one of the founding father’s of the US. Beyond that and his contribution to contemporary politics he is known for his signature on the Declaration of Independence, which is the largest and clearest on the document. According to his biographer “his is a synonym for the word ‘signature’.” In the light of this information I wonder why this movie was named after him. It has to be more than a superhero being a signature of our times. I think it is an emphasis of the free will concept. The original Hancock stood up against the British rule of the colonies. The modern Hancock first stood up for his ex-wife life (literally, when he was beaten down) and later for the good of the whole planet. But I am aware that I might have compared the incomparable and this analogy speaks more about me than about the movie.