Thursday, July 10, 2008

Super Jungle Fever

About Hancock, I'll say this:

It's been a while since I saw a movie with such an overt comment on interracial love/romance.


Basically, the plot revolves around a homeless superhero named Hancock, who has a drinking problem and a huge patch in his memory. He doesn't know where he came from, where he's going, or why he's so angry, and even though he tries to do the right thing, it seems like things always end up going wrong (sounds like a lot of brothers I know).

Hancock thinks he's the only super person in the world (a la Superman), but it turns out he's got a partner/wife, Mary Embery (played by Charlize Theron), that he doesn't know about. The idea is that they are gods, angels, whatever, and that they've been together intermittently since the dawn of time, but when they get together, sparks literally fly and they lose their immortality.

I hate to be that guy who always finds a way to put race in the mix, but I couldn't read this dynamic as anything else but some kind of comment on Black masculinity/White femininity. As Mary explains it, although the superlovers are immortal apart, together it seems like they are always the victims of harassment and persecution. Apparently, 80 years ago the two were living in Florida (not the most friendly state to interracial couples) and Hancock got attacked by what sounds like a lynch mob. He escaped, but Mary left him in the hospital so he could become immortal again.

Sure, there are some major holes in the story, but when Mary tells Hancock that "every time we're together, they come after you through me," it makes you wonder exactly who is the "they" and why do "they" have such a big problem with these two getting together? I'm not sure exactly what the movie is trying to say, although it's worth noting that Mary scoffs when Hancock asks her whose more powerful, but something is being suggested. I'm still trying to figure out the implications of the ending, which leaves Hancock a lonely immortal servant/superhero and Mary a happy housewife to a mortal White husband.

Well, I guess it could be worse...


candice said...

ha! i lolled at that last picture...perfect choice. did you hear that's been the worst selling july issue for vogue in years?

Marcus Wicker said...

I don't know why readers are hating on that issue (well I do). LeBron is the most clean cut, "safe" brotha in the league. You mean to tell me he's not accepted enough pose with a 25/20 without people thinking about Tarzan? Not even one who's not as snow bunny as, say, Maria Sharapova? Damn. What ever happened to that chorus of Kumbaya Obama started?

Abdel Shakur said...

Point taken, but you got to admit that the King Kong resemblance is uncanny. I wouldn't necessarily) question BronBron's intentions in taking the photo, but it's hard for me to believe that the photographer wasn't playing with that motif in some kind of way.

jackson brown said...

That magazine cover also figures into the larger framing by the media of Lebron James being something "other than human," be him a b-ball deity or, as this image might suggest, an animal. Remember that commentator's reaction to one of his dunks in this year's playoffs ("...with no regard for human life")?

As for Hancock, what most disturbed me about the film was its trite plot where the noble black male must sacrifice himself in order to protect/uphold the white male/white female marriage--we see the same thing with Jamie Foxx at the end of the movie Stealth. Only in this case, it not only drives the brother into seclusion, but explicitly steers him away from the white female, his wife, a woman he's been married to for centuries.

Moreover, they imply that their separation will be permanent (even though they've intrinsically gravitated toward one another in the past), by symbolically killing off Will Smith. He was, after all, "out of cell phone range" for a few days at the end of the movie--and the raven he had crouched beside him on the rooftop??? As long as he's got his bluetooth device and his raven companion now, though, he's perfectly OK with giving up the love of his life to a white male.

...Give me a break.