Although Will Smith plays an emotionally fragile superhero in Hancock, as a movie star he's practically invincible. By industry standards, the last genuine Smith dud was The Legend of Bagger Vance, but the actor's standing among many audiences has remained decidedly rocky. As a result, he occupies a unique corner of the Hollywood marketplace where quality and taste don't necessarily match up. Unlike, say, The Dark Knight, not many people eagerly await the latest Smith offering -- which currently has a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- but they'll see it anyway. Hancock is tracking well, thanks to a poster exclusively dominated by Smith's unshaven mug, and that pretty much seals its potent box office fate. Just as Smith's slapdash onscreen persona is bullet-proof, Smith himself is steadfastly critic-proof.

Which places movie in an interesting quagmire: After pulling in waves of cash, it will probably get relegated to the void of forgettable Smith fare, where spectacles offer passing amusement before scampering off forever. Hancock, however, deserves better than a fleeting moment in the limelight and a crash landing in the bargain bin. It's part of a genre that speaks directly to the modern state of blockbuster cinema: The superhero satire.
categories Cinematical