Hancock is a 2008 film starring Will Smith as the titular "hero."The movie is about a drunken jerkass super-zero (played by Will Smith) who has been stopping crime in Los Angeles for years. He has absolutely zero Hero Insurance, and every time he stops crime, something gets horribly wrecked, only annoying the city's denizens more and more. Each additional crime he stops raises the level of enmity the Angelenos have for him, and it isn't helped by the fact that they're all aware he cannot be restrained. While he still opts to fight the bad guys, there is absolutely no public support for him.Until he saves the life of Ray (Jason Bateman), an idealistic marketing executive. Ray convinces him to clean up his act: to change his image from being a clumsy jerkass with no care for property damage to actually acting and dressing the part of a superhero such that the people he saves will be happy to see him.Soon Hancock opens up about himself, where he came from, and why he is constantly pissed off. It delves into his Super Hero Origin and there is a constant worry that everyone has a weakness, and Hancock doesn't know what his is.The film's name is a case of title dissonance for British viewers of a certain age, who irrevocably associate the name with Tony Hancock, of Hancock's Half Hour fame. The actual reference, for those not well-versed in American history, is to John Hancock, who famously signed the American Declaration of Independence with a much larger signature than the other signers, leading to the idiom "put down your John Hancock" being used to mean "sign here."
Provides Examples Of:
Animal Motifs: Hancock often finds himself surrounded by subtle or prominent the imagery of an Eagle, waking up on a bench with an eagle painted on it, wearing a hat bearing a logo of an eagle on the front, scrawling eagles on the walls of his cell, etc. Ray seems to have noticed this recurring motif and purposely put an Eagle on Hancock's brand new suit as his symbol. His reintroduction to the public has him walk past a prominent metal statue of one, and finally, Hancock is shown watching over New York whilst sitting next to one.
Anti-Hero: Hancock is this at the start of the film - a drunken, sexist, homophobic, politically incorrect prick who cares nothing for collateral damage and only saves people out of some strange need. He grows out of it with Ray's help.
Arc Symbol: Ray's "All Heart" logo, which he hopes to convince big corporations use as brand recognition, to indicate the amount of charity work they do. They laugh him out of the room until the ending, when Hancock puts the All Heart logo on the near side of the moon.
Ass Shove: His favorite threat is to shove someone's head up someone else's ass. Later, he makes good on that threat.
Badass Bookworm: Kenneth "Red" Parker Jr. He's actually mentioned in a news report as a former Psychology professor who created a large underground network using psychological persuasion to create criminals.
Berserk Button: Both Smith and Theron's characters get pissed when someone calls them an "asshole" or "crazy," respectively.
Big Applesauce: Where Hancock chooses to set up his new life after leaving Mary alone in L.A.
Bittersweet Ending: Hancock doesn't get to be with Mary at the end, even though they were apparently made for one another. But he's alive, and she's alive, and she's with a good man whom she cares about and he's doing what he likes doing, and they both know each other is okay. And hey, they're both immortal, so there's plenty of time.
Black Comedy: The first act. The original scripts continued this way, but the addition of the second plot line takes it in a different direction.
Blatant Lies: Hancock's excuse for "coming in hot" when he landed in the street.
Hancock: That was already like that when I got here.
Ray: I live here... I know what the street looks like.
Brought Down to Normal: Hancock and other immortals like him suffers from this when they come into contact with their immortal mate. The loss of their powers allows them to decide to live a normal, mortal life and eventually die. All but Hancock and Mary have chosen this fate and died before the start of the film.
Bus Full of Innocents: In this case a bank full of innocents acting as hostage to the robbers. Hancock saving them without loss of life or major property damage is precisely when his public image improves.
Cardboard Prison: Normal prisons have no hope of holding Hancock. He pulls a steel door off its hinges when he gets annoyed and flies over the fence to pick up a lost basketball. The fact that he's willing to stay of his own accord rather than actually escape is part of his Character Development.
A God Am I: Hancock has this attitude sometimes, but Mary gets it pretty bad for their fight.
Hancock: You and I, we're the same.
Mary: No, I'm stronger.
Mary: * snidely* Oh yeah.
It helps they were actually Godlike, and called Gods since the beginning of time.
Good Is Not Nice: Hancock. In the beginning, he's rude, lecherous, drunk, and cares next-to-nothing for public safety and property damage - it's as if he has some sort of contract to do "good" (like stopping police pursuits by shoving gang members up onto a skyscraper), and as Ray reveals, he's also homophobic and shoves kids to get at ice cream. Mary.
Groin Attack: Hancock breaks free from a choke hold in this way in the final fight.
Identity Amnesia: Hancock was attacked with his wife and had his skull fractured, which erased any memory of who he was.
Indecisive Deconstruction: This film can't decide whenever it wants be a deconstruction or a tragedy. The first half is basically a straight Deconstructive Parody. The second half is a different kind of deconstruction, examining the fact that superpowers don't exist in a vacuum. (You can't have Superman without Krypton, or Wonder Woman without Paradise Island.) Whether it's any good depends on the viewer.
Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Hancock grabs a beached whale by the tail and throws it back into the ocean where it hits a boat and capsizes it. Apparently, this is just one of many incidents on YouTube that Ray found of Hancock's "exploits."
Mary is also this especially while she unloads 3,000 years of repressed anger in the street fight with Hancock, when he's repeatedly and honestly told her he doesn't remember anything about his former life.
Living Legend: Everyone knows who Hancock is. They know he's perfectly willing to help. They just don't like him very much.
Magic Pants, Shirt and Shoes: Hancock wears normal clothes and regularly flies into the pavement. He's even slammed by a train at one point but his clothes never get shredded. Averted in a YouTube video Ray shows him in which what's left of his clothes are barely there after putting out an apartment fire.
Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Hancock is about to abandon prison and heads for the door when Ray calls him out (You're being a coward!) which makes Hancock change his mind.
Not Hyperbole: While he may or may not actually be serious when making the threat, when Hancock threatens to shove someone's head up someone else's posterior, he really can do it, and will if pushed too far.
Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Mary whistles as she goes to fetch eggs from the fridge, which she threw (along with the titular character) through her wall upon revealing her powers to him.
Not So Invincible After All: Hancock and Mary lose their powers if they stay together. This was the reason for every other being like them dying out.
Not the Fall That Kills You: Obviously exaggerated. The aforementioned French kid gets thrown maybe a mile up into the air and then caught maybe four feet from the ground without any apparent ill effects other than a bruised ego.
Only Sane Man: Ray. Ray is also seemingly the only person in the Hancock-verse who recognises that it's not a good idea to piss Hancock off.
Mary: Did he just take the whiskey bottle to the bathroom?
Ray: Do you want him to kill us all?
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: No idea where on earth Eddie Marsan's villain is supposed to be from. He's sometimes English, sometimes Southern US, and sometimes vaguely...Irish?
Physical God: Hancock and Mary are implied to be this. They're certainly powerful enough and have at many times in history been dubbed and worshipped as gods.
Politically Correct History: Averted. Hancock is assaulted in his weakened state by bigots in 1931 Florida because he's with a white woman. That's also the probable motive of the 1850 incident.
Poor Communication Kills: Mary, it's one thing to be displeased about what happened in the past with Hancock. But refraining from telling him about his past in his amnesic state and certainly threatening him only compound the problems which ultimately end up revealing her secret to Ray.
Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: A significant part of Hancock's attempt to clean up his act is to convince the public that he doesn't live by this trope and that they can hold him accountable for his actions, willingly serving time in prison for instance, until he's called back in to help.
Sexy Discretion Shot: The deleted sex scene in Hancock's trailer home between Hancock and the girl. As they're about to get it on, the trailer violently rocks back and fourth until right before Hancock reaches the mountaintop, when he knocks the girl onto the couch and ejaculates three powerful shots through the roof.
Shaming The Mob: When a crowd jeers Hancock for causing massive collateral damage to save Ray, Ray chews them out for it and thanks Hancock instead.
Shout Out: A crook in New York City references Wolverine when describing Hancock's costume, as it looks like the X-Men's black suits.
There Can Be Only One: Mostly inverted, the supers are in pairs who weaken each other if they get close enough, but the last two never quite get together.
The Power of Love: As above, the supermen and women are designed in pairs that are drawn to each other, and according to Theron's character, being close to one another causes them to lose their powers so they can grow old and die together. However, Hancock's irresponsibility interferes with this plan by causing them both to break up and get back together every century or so. An attack while the two are depowered leads to Hancock becoming amnesiac, and Mary leaving to marry Ray and live a normal life.
Too Dumb to Live: Arguably, the people who insist on taunting Hancock, apparently failing to remember that he can crush their skulls like grapes. As are the (former) prisoners who assault Hancock at the hospital. Sure he can be hurt now because he's turning mortal. But he still has Super Strength. And there is no way they could have known he'd be vulnerable.
The scene before showed a news report about him being hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Though they did start planning to escape and get revenge long before this happens though.
Trailers Always Spoil: Later trailers and the DVD cover all spoil the twist that there's another superhuman.
Trainstopping: Hancock "saves"note He happened to be in the way. Ray by stopping a train from hitting his car.
Weaksauce Weakness: Hancock's only weakness? His real wife. Any attempt to live a loving, fulfilling life with his wife of 3,000 years will cause them to both become mortal in order to die together. Unfortunately, Hancock has a hero complex to save people. Which attracts bad guys who attack them in their weakened state. They argue, he leaves, they meet again and the whole cycle starts again.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: This is actually a reason why there's no one else like Hancock: superheroes were made in pairs, and when they fell in love, they become mortal to live and die together - and everyone but Hancock found peace.
Living Forever Is Awesome: They decide to split permanently because Hancock and Mary don't want this to happen to themselves. Hancock, for instance, wants to be a super hero forever.
Would Hurt a Child: Subverted. Hancock tosses the bully up in the air and only catches him at the last second. Ray is visibly shaken, obviously not sure if Hancock would bother to catch the kid or not. Not that many viewers cared.