Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Don't just stand there. Kill someone!

I hadn't been to the theater in a while, so I was willing to see just about anything. But, there were some stipulations...

I wanted to see a character, known only by a single name, wow me with feats no regular person could ever accomplish. I wanted this person to be attractive, with wavy hair and a massive chest. And I wanted them to lay waste to countless, faceless adversaries.

Turns out, I had two choices.

Being that I'm an average schmuck who only uses 10% of his brain capacity, I was unable to slow time and make it to Luc Besson's latest, Lucy. Instead, I ended up at Brett Ratner's Hercules, somewhat bummed, but still happy to be at the theater.

A mostly exposed (female) breast later, mixed in with some early action scenes, and I was feeling a little bit better about paying seven bucks to see this one in the first place (the preview screamed Redbox!). Throw in The Rock and a pretty badass crew of sidekicks, and this year's second Hercules flick actually rounded into a solid PG-13 adventure. Yes, it's goofy, and probably completely unnecessary, but with Dwayne Johnson (and Ian McShane!) kicking droves of ass, you can't really hate it. Okay, you can, but still. Don't be such a dick.

Honestly, I don't think I knew anything about Hercules, other than that he was a strong dude in ancient Greece, but I actually enjoyed the legend as told here. Hercules, as big and badass as he is, is simply a regular dude. In fact, all the heroic feats he's accomplished have been with the help of a ragtag crew of ass-kicking outcasts, in debt to Herc for whatever reason. They like the myth though, as it will only encourage enemies to give up quicker. And then, Hercules and his crew can get paid and call it a life.

Yes, just like every action movie ever, our skull-smashing lead is a reluctant warrior, fighting not only a thousand bad guys, but demons he doesn't want to talk about. In fact, he's, wait for it, one more job away from being done with this line of work forever. But, you'll never believe this, he meets a woman and her young son that remind him of his own! I know, right? And instead of taking the money and walking the f--k away, he risks it all and does the right thing.

But you know what? Even if the fantastic elements are largely absent, I still thought all the cliched goofiness worked well enough, even if just barely. But, if you've read any post on this blog about a film that stars The Rock, you'll realize that I can't be trusted. This guy shows up, says something cool, I'm pretty much good right there. But when he shoves a horse forty yards? Or punches a wolf directly in the face? I'm done. Done.

Also completely irrational and not to be trusted, are the Yays and Boos. But at least they didn't throw up on the Parthenon when they were seven, you know?

  • If there was such a thing as an 'absurd meter', this movie has the needle locked at 'fully' and it's okay by me.
  • Nicole Kidman is not in this. But, I'm telling you, sometimes, Ingrid Bolso Berdal looks just like her.
  • The training montages are pretty sweet, but I especially loved the shield wall. 'Dead. Very dead.'
  • Askel Hennie owns in this movie. Owns. His final act was f--king ridiculously brilliant.
  • The Captain Spaulding Rumble. Honestly, there's this battle, where every guy on the opposing side looks exactly like a jacked Sid Haig. It's pretty much the best thing ever. Not only do we get all those Haigs, but we get Giant Chariot Blades, and dudes getting picked off from, like, 900 yards away.
  • I'm pretty sure everyone in this movie has nice tits. Every single person.
  • Rufus Sewell. I love this man.
  • You know how PG-13 movies get one f-bomb? Here it's f--king centaurs! and that's a Yay if there ever was one.
  • I don't care if I already mentioned it: Dwayne Johnson fights wolves. Read that again.
  • McShane's Amphiaraus is pretty cool. He kind of reminds me of Edward Bloom in Big Fish. He knows how he's going to die, so he's pretty chill in every battle. 
  • And finally, the ending. Not only so we get to see some real Herculean effort, but The Rock lets out the best Gggyaahhhhhhhhhhh! this side of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oh, and someone gets killed by a giant head falling on them.
You'd think battle armor might cover your T & A a little more, no?
  • We cut to three years earlier and I'm pretty sure it was filmed three hours later. Just saying...
  • Arrows are used to kill a lot of people. Yay, right? But they all come from one quiver. This is the stuff of Greek legend.
  • Remember how I said I liked the training montages? It's true, they're kind of rad. But I think there's a rule about how many montages can take place in a ten minute span, right?
  • Hercules' soldiers are thinking about deserting him when all of a sudden a shit ton of new armor shows up. Clearly I'm not a genuis (an understatement if there ever was one), but um, where the f--k does one order 10,000 chest plates in ancient Greece? Maybe Hercules has a Costco membership?
  • Joseph Fiennes shows up for a minute and kind of sucks (that's a double Boo right there). Though I do support his attempt at not having Hercules smash his head in. His plan? He tells Herc: I like you!
  • I know Greece was home to a lot of great scientific minds, but it's clear that physics weren't invented till much, much later.
  • Okay, I'm all for supporting a douchey King, but what soldier would kill some kid when it's pretty clear that the King's about to be um, on his way out?
  • And finally, I had to piss during the movie. I hate that. I've probably left the theater four times in my entire movie-going career, and Hercules was one of them. I left during a conversation, which seemed fine, and I come back and all the main characters have been imprisoned and shackled. Damn you, Coke Zero. Damn you.
So, that day in the theater? Well, another legend was born. Yep. See, during the previews, the f--king lights were on! And none of the (five) other guys in the room were going to say shit about it. Though, one dude was in a wheelchair, so I'll give him a pass. Anyway, you know who got up and handled it? I did.Uh huh. A mere mortal, rose from his slumber, to cast darkness on men blinded by a fluorescent sun, and led them to the promised land...

...Of actually being able to see the screen. 

Even cooler? I now know where the light switch is. And in movie theater terms? That pretty much makes me a god.


  1. It's hard to knock a movie that has a hero kicking droves of ass, f--king centaurs, AND a giant head landing on someone. :-) I am not a big fan of action flicks, as a general rule, but I did find your review immensely entertaining. Having read the review, I don't actually need to watch the movie. Though I would like to get a look at those centaurs.

    1. Oh no. Someone says, 'f--king centaurs!"

      There are not f--king centaurs. If that makes sense. Not outside my dreams anyway.

      Oh, and the centaurs, the definitely not-f--king ones, they actually totally suck. Hence the comment, F--king centaurs.

  2. I want to see this just for the "fucking centaurs" scene. And because I shamelessly love The Rock. I'd like to think if I ever met any of my favorite celebrities, I'd keep it together. I'm almost 100% sure I would fangirl hard if I met The Rock.

    1. AAAAaaaah! What have I done? I would hate to mislead anyone, let alone using the internet to do so. who does that?

      Anyway, I'm with you. I love The Rock, and likely always will. I'm just afraid the guy is going to waste his prime years looking for that role and never actually land it. Someone needs to write something with him in mind, asap.

  3. The Rock is a god, and this movie was so fun! You've got to love things for what they are. A great, easy summer blockbuster.

    1. I'm all for this. Damn near every word of it!

  4. "(the preview screamed Redbox!)"

    That's enough for me. I watched the trailer before this movie was due to be released and thought the same thing, I'm fortunate to be able to see a movie at a theater for under $5 and yet the trailer didn't interest me enough to pay THAT much. I'm not a big fan of The Rock, but his roles in most action movies are decent enough to make them enjoyable. I think my prior viewings of "The Game Plan" and "Tooth Fairy" has negatively affected my decision in future movie choices starring him.

    1. Sometimes Mike, I think the theater makes movies that are average better, so this one might depreciate when it hits DVD and blu ray. But maybe that's just me...

      But if you're not a real big fan of The Rock before this, you might just want to pass altogether. Herc's gotta be better than the Tooth Fairy though....gotta be.