Monday, June 23, 2008

'Hancock' in need of style in a superheroic way

I arrived two-and-a-half hours early for an advance screening of the film "Hancock" starring Will Smith in the title role. I left the theater wanting more ... answers, that is.

Without getting into a critique of the film itself, I was puzzled with the selection of clothing for the aforementioned protagonist, who initially appears as homeless, replete with scruffy beard and tattered clothing. This would be the setup for a super-powered being with manners so crude that calling him a "hero" might as well equate to another four-letter word. (In the film, that amounts to seven letters, though you'd have to see the film to find out.) Smith's appearance (and demeanor) was rated R -- for ragamuffin.

Fast forward a bit, and Smith's beard is shaven and he's decked out in a silver, pique-lapel suit and a black shirt as part of cleaning up himself. As David Boris of the Be Better Guys might invoke: "Now that's better." But Smith's transformation seems too quick given the film's introduction of his character.

Finally, let's look at his superhero costume. A leather suit in the summertime is just too hot to wear outdoors. At least Eddie Murphy, in his 1980s stand-up concert films "Delirious" and "Raw," was able to pull off the leather-clad presentation within air-conditioned venues. In "Hancock," Smith quips his leather suit is "a little tight," but the real issue here is: Dude, you plan on sweating yourself or the bad guys?

And don't get me started on Smith's co-star, Charlize Theron, who starts out as a soccer-mom type who happens to have glamorous looks. Later in the film, she's Ms. Billie Badass on a mascara binge. Wouldn't wanna mess with her, yo.

Jason Bateman, the final leg of this triumvirate, appears the most sensibly dressed in his PR executive role who takes on Hancock as a "client." Props to the film's wardrobe folks who made Bateman look crisp in his outfits.

Perhaps clothes do not make the film, but in the case of "Hancock," they're an indicator of the film's progression, which is all over the place. The film's offbeat vibe presents Oscar nominee Smith and Oscar winner Theron in an unexpected light, with the subtle comedic timing of Bateman as the constant thread.

But get some clothes that are more sensibly suited for heroes!

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