starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head
screenplay by Vy Vincent Ngo & Vince Gilligan
directed by Peter Berg
by Walter Chaw I'm an unabashed Peter Berg fan. I think that his Very Bad Things is naughty and transgressive in ways that Judd Apatow could only pretend; that his The Rundown is the first film since Herzog's Even Dwarfs Started Small to use little people correctly in a rollicking, rousing sentence; and that his Friday Night Lights did a very fine job of essaying the insular madness of Texas high-school football. Berg's last picture, The Kingdom, is the finest pop explication of the brief history of (and our relationship with) the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and now his superhero epic Hancock has the temerity to try to address the colour barrier in comics as it relates, uneasily, to these United States. Talking about it tells everything so beware the major spoiler, but Hancock has at its centre an indestructible, airborne, super-strong black man with a white wife who, should he spend too much time near her, renders him completely, utterly mortal and thus subject to the world that would see them apart. Consider that this is a mega-budget, 4th of July blockbuster starring Will Smith, the black guy all America can agree on, doing the old miscegenation tango with the whitest white girl on the planet, South African lovely Charlize Theron, which should have aged white Republicans twisted up in their Confederate-flag panties. We're only really forty years removed from Selma, Alabama, and here's forty-year-old Will Smith planting a big wet one on Theron's lips in a tentpole flick the summer that Barack Obama became the first black man chosen as the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States. God bless America, free(r) at last.