2 1/2 Stars
An intriguing premise is wasted in this misguided blockbuster. An excellent first act gives way to an overly self-important second act that rings false. Will Smith is ideal in the role of the drunken, anti-social superhero who must atone of all the damage he’s caused by spending time in jail. Jason Bateman is an unsuccessful P.R. man, whom sells Smith on the idea that; while incarcerated the public will realize they need a savior. So far so good. Then the screenplay by Vy Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan takes an unexpected and serious turn, in the process robbing the film of any good-vibe it had built up to that point. Director Peter Berg brings his ‘Michael Mann’-lite style to the proceedings, and while this is an asset to his previous films like ‘Friday Night Lights’, it proves a major distraction here. Smith’s charisma and Theron’s sex appeal can only carry the film so far. Wisely, Sony’s marketing department sold this as a superhero thrill ride. Resulting in a summertime smash and one of the top grossing films of 2008.
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
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