Friday, July 4, 2008


"What could have been a perfectly enjoyable blend of comedy and action blows up in our faces trying to be a heavier, larger-than-life romance with historical, spiritual and sci-fi implications.

Basic logic is jettisoned as well. As a superhero, Hancock has bullets bounce off him. But at key points, they pierce him. Then they bounce off him again. Sure, it's a fantasy, but the internal logic should have some consistency if we're going to get caught up in what happens." [USA Today]

I am very dissappointed to hear about Will Smith's latest movie: Hancock. It is about a superhero lost in despair, a tragic story with a definite air to it that reminds us of Spider-Man. Now Will Smith is a professed Christian, which is amazing considering it never dawned on me to think so. The question that one really should ask: "If I can't tell you're a Christian, have you done your job as a servant to God?"

Now, how did I find out he was a Christian? A friend played me a song called "Miss Holy Roller." The song is disappointing considering that Christians ought to correct each other out of love and compassion rather than a Pharisee-type finger pointing.1

But look at these lyrics in the light of his new movie:

"Come on, if I die right this second, I reckon that God would simply check
into my life & times, dissecting my rhymes, he'll see how I've been leading his troops
You can't do dirt your whole life then say "oops'!" [Will Smith]

Will is right - God is going to check your life and times. But included in that is Hancock, which, speaks for itself:

"Unfortunately, there is also a lot of negative content in this film, the strongest being the language, which mostly comes from Hancock. He calls everyone extremely crude names, insults and mocks people, makes a sexual advance on a married woman (he is strongly rebuffed), and often reacts violently when he is called a specific word (...), one that is thrown around by nearly everyone, including small children. He also uses the f-word once, and the s-word and God's name numerous times."

Now, swearing is something I stay away from, I believe there is enough biblical evidence to suggest that if you can't shout it in Church then you shouldn't say it. But blasphemy? Why Will, why? I can understand that acting a part requires a certain level of commitment, but at the cost of sin? Sin which caused Christ to die? Have you no shame? Not to mention that this movie now encourages others to follow suite? Is there a part in this movie where Hancock repents of his sin towards the Holy God from whom he claims salvation? Is is right or fair that Will can judge Michelle (Miss Holy Roller) so harshly and then blatantly commit sin on the silver screen. Is there an excuse for that?

"I always strive to be righteous, my version of God
The reason why I never write verses with curses inside
The reason I never purposely hurt persons,
I've applied many teaching of God,
Searching the reaches of God" [Will Smith]

What happened Will? Where did these principles go? People in the limelight need to be specifically careful of the behaviour that is idolised in the movies. I am no saint by far. I have committed sin for which I cannot expect salvation, but God is kind to forgive. Will, if you ever read this humble blog, please know that it is not a judgement I give, but rather a correction. We must strive for God's glory. But you make yourself a 'Holy Roller' by making such songs and movies. Sin is never a joke or something that should be downplayed.

In this regard I feel a comment needs to be made: Iron Man, I feel is a 'good' movie? It has blasphemy, although I missed it when I watched it, but let's look at this critically:
  1. I can't expect non-Christians to act in a Christian like manner. (In the same vein non-Christians can't expect me to pay for a movie when they insult my God2)
  2. Notice that Tony Stark is a fornicator in the beginning, taking advantage whenever he can. After his experience he is at least morally improved. This creates a suggestion that good men do not behave in this manner. GREAT! He even stops lying! He still has some pride issues, but to be frank no one is perfect.

1 Is this post in line with Pharisee-style finger pointing? Leave a comment if you think so! I am interested in the reasons behind it. The first one I would point to is Matthew 18 - biblical correction. Well, I tried to find an e-mail address for Mr Smith and you can imagine that it is quite difficult. Also, I am not condemning Mr Smith, I am reviewing his actions in accordance with his words. I am using him as an example, much in the same manner I treated Ken Miller in previous posts. It is not my intent to do damage to these people, but to look at their actions, since they are performed publicly, in a public forum.

2 I did pay to see Iron Man


Ant said...

(In the same vein non-Christians can't expect me to pay for a movie when they insult my God2)

Eli said...

You should remember that these movies are created, simply as fictional entertainment...not as an attack on anyones beliefs. I agree with your beliefs though and please don't take what I have written as a personal attack either.

Quintin said...

I agree Eli, movies aren't intended to attack anyone's beliefs. That is not the point of the post. In fact, you are the first one to mention an attack.

I believe that although it is Satan's intention to attack Christianity, the humans are just puppets. My problem is that Christians will sit by and excuse (even applaude) the behaviour because they like the entertainment. Friendship with the world is emnity with God. Christians need more gopel in their diet.

Entertainment is fleeting. For Christians to fill their heads with garbage is wasting their master's time. Jesus was particularly hard on those who saw themselves as religious, but had no desire for the welfare of their brothers. I am following His example.

No action is 'neutral.' Christians need to learn this.

I encourage you to read the letters I sent to Warner Brothers: [Movies: Again]. You will see that I am not sitting by, but I am not picketing either. I am trying to encourage them unto good works, giving the gospel as I do so. I'll still watch movies, as long as they don't glorify behaviour I do not wish to emulate.

Peaceful Protester said...

Many reviews seem to fail to understand the message of this movie. Love and compassion are the catalyst for true change. Once one feels true love and compassion for oneself, the world will reflect it back.

Will Smith is playing a character, not himself. How do you expect Mr. Smith to portray the character if he's not allowed to realistically show us from where the character's journey begins?

Note: The difference between Will Smith's music and his acting is the music is who he is, and the acting is him pretending to be other people so he can tell their story. Everyone has a story from which others can learn.

Quintin said...

@Peaceful protester:
Thank you for your comment! But I think you are making the same mistake as Eli did in thinking I have a problem with the MOVIE. I am not a movie reviewer.

In your reasoning - when Will Smith takes on an acting role he is permitted to blatently sin as long as he is "in character" - I disagree.

As Christians, we should put God first, before any job or role. And I fail to understand how Will can claim to be a Christian when he will clearly blaspheme the God he is supposed to love with ALL his heart.

This "acting" is nothing short of a disgrace. I will not stand by and applaude this behaviour. There are several ways of portraying his character without betraying the God of the universe.