Is 'Hancock' Half-Cocked?

I'll admit it, I thought Hancock looked pretty cool. It's got a fun premise, a great trailer, good effects, Will Smith in full-on superstar mode, and even Jason Bateman. In short, it seemed like the perfect summer entertainment. Then, a few weeks ago that Variety review came out, and all was not well. Todd McCarthy said "this odd and perplexing aspiring tentpole will provide a real test of Smith's box office invincibility." Suddenly Hancock seemed a little shaky. If Hollywood's hometown paper didn't love it, who would? Well, opening day has finally arrived, the rest of the critics have weighed in, and it seems that Hancock is not just bad, but a big steaming pile of shit. It managed to scare up a scant 34% at Rotten Tomatoes and that's only slightly better than Drillbit Taylor! Stick around after the jump to read a collection of the prickliest critical barbs.

· "Hancock can offer only an A-list headliner in a D-list project." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

· "Squanders potential greatness with lame humor and a half-baked hero." Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice

· "It's a strange feeling to see the summer's most promising premise self-destruct into something bizarre and unsatisfying, but that is the Hancock experience." Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

· "It has a big sag in the middle that nothing could have fixed." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

· "This movie fails so spectacularly - and on so many levels - that it's like watching a train plummet off a bridge." Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Harsh! Has the king of the 4th of July weekend finally been dethroned? Probably not, because, critics be damned, I'm still gonna see it. Seems like the American thing to do. But perhaps Will Smith should spend less time founding robot-building Scientology schools and pay more attention to the scripts he chooses.