Sunday, July 06, 2008

When you just do your job without taking pride in your work, you become quite the a**hole. Because the end result is all that matters, there's no thought to the process, consequences and repercussions of your choice of action. And if you leave more destruction in the wake of achieving your desired end result, you are probably Hancock, the superhero whose callous and careless problem-solving methods leaves those he rescues and other bystanders rather less than impressed.

Hancock is driven to do the right thing: fight crime and save lives whether human or otherwise. He doesn't know why he suffers from this compulsion to be a do-gooder, after all, with his power and his attitude who could stop him from becoming an evil a**hole instead of the altruistic one that he is?

For all the good he does, Hancock has no purpose in life. When he's done saving the world, he's either getting drunk or hangin' out in his RV of Solitude, looking over a world that could be his but doesn't want. He is painfully aware of being the only one of his kind, so he doesn't have much stake in the society around him. Like many of us, there's only a sense of mission: just do the job and go home, with no sense of involvement in the community. It seems a noble and selfless existence, but it's also stupid and ultimately pointless.

About halfway through the movie, Hancock gets a revelation that changes his view of his entire existence. At this point, the movie takes on quite a different complexion. It's an almost schizoid the way slapstick comedy switches into melodrama. Guess it's impossible to sustain a comedy about an irresponsible super-powered being without making him turn over a new leaf somehow.

I went to watch 'Hancock' expecting to laugh myself silly given the angle of the trailers, but I got something of a reflected image instead. I too tend to swoop in, solve problems, and fly off again when I'm no longer needed. In situations where there is no agenda to pursue, I'm at a loss as to how to contribute to the social setting. Hopefully, I'm not as detested as much as Hancock is: I don't have his power to make people regret calling him an "a**hole" one. more. time.

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