Wednesday, July 2, 2008

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It's sad when you're looking forward to a movie from the day you hear about it being greenlit, only to finally see it and realize how better off you would have been without it. It's even sadder when you don't even remember having seen it.

I'm a big Will Smith fan, so seeing Hancock was going to be one of the highlights of my Summer.. And Get Smart was one of the movies I was most looking forward to this year. Yet neither really delivered.

Though there are a few good scenes, overall it was unmemorable. Technically, it was awkwardly directed, unimaginatively edited, and horribly scored. The four leads were good: I've always thought Steve Carell would be a worthy Maxwell Smart, and Anne Hathaway, while not the 99 from the show, still delivers. Dwayne Johnson once again proves himself as a comic actor, and Alan Arkin is not bad at all. The rest of the cast spends its time either mugging for the camera or delivering lines in monotone. There are a fair amount of good moments, but a number of jokes related to vomit, piss, and shit just...ugh. I'm so sick of that passing for humor. Passable, but not as "smart" as its predecessor. **

So. Boring. Will Smith phones in his entire performance. The direction is awful, just cringe-worthy. Was the use of handicam really necessary? Must we have closeups so intimate that I can count the nosehairs in Jason Bateman's nostrils? The score, the story, the acting were all over the place. Tries for more gravitas than one would expect, and indeed it becomes a sort of melodrama in the last twenty minutes. But it just doesn't work. Bateman does a fine job, sharing great chemistry with Charlize Theron. But I knew that already--from Arrested Development, which was funnier, more touching, and wasn't as long. Was it really only 80 minutes? I can't even tell you how we got to the climax: I became intrigued by two high school couples competing to see who could make out in the grodiest fashion. That was infinitely more interesting than Hancock. *1/2
And here is the rest of it.

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