Hancock Could Have Been Much, Much Worse

Illustration for article titled Hancock Could Have Been Much, Much Worse

Will Smith's skid-row superhero movie Hancock was fairly bursting with wasted potential, but you should thank your lucky stars the original script, Tonight He Comes, never reached the screen. At least, if the version that's turned up online recently is real, we all dodged a bullet of awfulness. In a nutshell: it's not a comedy at all, it's an overwrought melodrama about a nihilistic superhero who helps a schlubby man and his son stand up for themselves. Click through for spoilers for a movie you'll never see.

The script, written by newcomer Vy Vincent Ngo, has only the faintest resemblance to the Hancock we actually saw. Hancock is still a hard-bitten superhero, but instead of being the disgrace of L.A., he's just grouchy and worn out, muttering to himself about his duty to counteract "the ills of man." Instead of the upper-class Embry family, the Ngo script features the Longfellows: Horus, Mary and their son Aaron. Horus is a failed police officer working as a security guard, and Aaron is still a kid who gets bullied (and peed on) at school. (But it's because Horus is spineless, and so Aaron has failed to learn self-respect and self-defense.)

Illustration for article titled Hancock Could Have Been Much, Much Worse

Mary is at the bank, doing her bank thing, when some wisecracking bank robbers show up and make her and a bunch of other hostages get in the lotus position. Hancock shows up, being way, way more competent than in the movie, and rescues everybody. Then he corners Tom, who shoots at him. The bullet bounces off, and tears Tom's ear off. That leads to this great bit of dialog:

TOM: Fuck. My shirt.

HANCOCK: Why don't we call it a day? (Steps forward)

TOM: Don't. I told you... I'm not going back. (Raises gun.)

HANCOCK: If you're going to tease, cock the damn gun. Otherwise, spare me the wounded animal act of desperation. I don't got time for rhetoric and sympathy so don't expect... dialogue and "come with me and you won't be hurt" bullshit. You walk out of here with me and your life is a violent storm. You will be hurt, you will be abused... whatever turns them on. Either way, your days are shit! Those are the realities, spelled out.

TOM: What's eating you, man?

HANCOCK: (upset) You got half the precinct out there, armed, trained to blow the tail off a sperm from a hundred yards... you're standing in here, cornered, three bullets left in that squirter of yours, if you're lucky, and you got one ear. I don't need the aggravation. I don't need this.

TOM: Man, you're jaded. I'm not asking for a rainbow... You don't got to shower me with respect. Just a little tenderness, is all. Have you no mercy, mister?

HANCOCK: (he's had enough) I'm all out. Let's go.

Sadly, Tom shoots at Hancock at point-blank range and is killed by the ricochet. Everyone's sad to lose Tom, because now who will point out how jaded Hancock is? Hancock leaves the bank, surrounded by reporters and women who would "die for a chance to suck on his cape." (No, really, the script says that.) Later, Hancock meets a friendly sex worker named Gina (rhymes with "vagina," as she tells Hancock, while propositioning him.)

Illustration for article titled Hancock Could Have Been Much, Much Worse

Hancock meets Aaron, the bullied son of Mary and Horus, and teaches him to smoke cigarettes. (Really.) And explains puberty to him: "Today, you're a boy. Tomorrow, Mr. Penis comes knocking." Aaron tries to stand up for himself at school, but it doesn't work out that great.

Later, he goes to dinner at the Longfellows' house, and meets Mary on the street after getting hit by a UPS van. She offers to sew his clothes for him, and he makes a lot of speeches about his responsibilities and how important he is. And then Hancock comes over and Mary cuts his hair for him, in a scene with no dialog but the sound of their breathing. And Mary "blossoming in her sweater." The haircut looks terrible and goofy.


Then Hancock and Mary go to the boardwalk and have a nice time, but Hancock starts to unravel thinking about how he's neglecting his duty. "I can't blink away the hell I've seen. It's in me." Then he kisses Mary and asks her to leave her husband for him. Hancock will get a job flipping burgers so he can be with Mary and her kid. But Mary says no. Hancock gets drunk and tells Aaron he'll be a loser just like his dad. Aaron may as well grab his ankles and "hope the reaming's gentle." Then Hancock goes and has sex with Gina (rhymes with "Vagina.")

Horus is drunk too and has a crisis of masculinity. Meanwhile Hancock, still drunk, gets attacked by a hoodlum and accidentally kills him. Hancock feels bad. Mary sings Beatles classics to Aaron. Hancock shows up, floating in mid-air, his eyes red. Mary asks, "What are you doing?" Hancock yells, "It's the haircut, Mary. I'm pissed!" And he hits himself in the head.


Hancock kidnaps Mary. Meanwhile, some thugs are attacking the department store where Horus works. The cops show up, but leave to deal with the Hancock-Mary hostage situation. Horus takes out the thugs single-handed, proving he's a real hero after all - but then he sees the Hancock-Mary thing on TV. Hancock, surrounded by cops, grabs Mary's ass and runs his hand over her buttocks. "He seeks a special kind of healing," the script says. Mary smacks Hancock in the face and shouts "No!", which causes Hancock to turn into a wounded child, saying "Help me" a lot. Mary talks him down a bit, but then the cops attack and Hancock demolishes them.

Horus finally shows up and attacks Hancock, even though it's pointless. Hancock nearly kills Horus, but then Mary gets buried under some rubble and we think she's dead. Hancock feels bad and tries to kill himself unsuccessfully. But Mary isn't dead after all. In the end, Hancock goes back to being a good guy, while Horus and Aaron become real men. The last shot of the movie is Aaron watching his parents have sex. "They are in some latter state of coital bliss," the script informs us. "Horus thrusts. Mary gasps." The end. [Obenson Report]


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Chris Braak

@moff: Well, except for how it would play like shit on screen. Also, the conversation and the continuation of that conversation are largely unmotivated—i.e., why is Hancock saying "there isn't going to be any of this 'come with me and you won't get hurt' bullshit," when saying that is basically saying "come with me..." etc.

I mean, the idea behind it is right. But the execution is turgid and nonsensical.


"Tomorrow, Mr. Penis comes knocking," is kind of funny.