Well here's something you don't see every day: A big, flashy summertime "tentpole" movie that A) takes chances, B) bucks convention, and C) takes some real risks with its subject material. Obviously the safe approach is for Will Smith to do (yet another) easily-digestible (if somewhat mindless) blockbuster like I, Robot or I Am Legend or Independence Day -- but this time the endlessly profitable Will Smith is working with a rather distinctive director who refuses to cater to formula. That director would be Peter Berg, and this guy has yet to make a bad film.

Unfortunately the production history on Hancock is not a fantastic one. There was a revolving door of directors and script polishers before Columbia finally started production -- but there were still marketing issues, last-minute reshoots, and MPAA miseries to deal with. And yet, despite all that, Hancock arrives like a breath of weirdly fresh air for moviegoers who like a little heart and soul mixed in with their hyper-kinetic action mayhem. Toss some sharp wit and an impressive display of edge into the mix, and I think you may have one of my favorite movies of the summer. (Although one can plainly tell that there was some late cutting done to the flick, all in the name of the almighty PG-13 rating, of course.)