Monday, July 28, 2014

Movie Review: "Hercules" (2014)

Director: Brett Ratner
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
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Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is a man of myth and legend who is believed to be the son of Zeus. The stories of his 12 labors have spread far and wide, and his reputation precedes him wherever he goes. Hercules now spends his days as a mercenary where he and his colorful and loyal partners who hunt down pirates and other unsavory people for the right price. One night, Hercules is approached by Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson), daughter to the King of Thrace (John Hurt), to defeat an opposing army that is tormenting their kingdom. In return, Hercules and his crew are promised their weight in gold. They must turn farmers into warriors and defeat a man named Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann), who has legends of his own: he is said to command an army of centaurs and that he is able to corrupt the minds of men to turn brother against brother. Hercules must use his reputation to help the men he leads rise to the challenge. 

Now THIS is what we call a popcorn flick!!

We must admit off the bat that we thought this movie was going to be absolutely dreadful. The trailers were pitiful and almost sort of a joke. To our surprise, this movie is not half bad! Now, this declaration comes with a huge disclaimer. Do not take this movie seriously in the slightest. The acting is terrible, sure, but that actually makes it all the more enjoyable. The dialogue is ridiculously corny. This movie defines the word "oozing" because it's just drenched and dripping in CGI that probably cost a crapload of money and yet still wound up looking mediocre. Everything from trees to mountains to snakes to blood are CGI'ed to infinity. It's also drowning in steroids and pumped-up masculinity, no doubt because it is directed by Brett Ratner and he is the world's biggest a-hole. Dwayne Johnson is good and lubed up the entire movie, accentuating his muscles and screaming of overcompensation, but this isn't a stretch when you consider where Johnson came from, the world of accentuating muscles and screaming of overcompensation, the WWE. It uses the word "mythology" quite liberally and openly. In fact, the mythology is turned on its head and very loosely used as the foundation for this story. The Rock sort of goes in and out of a weird, indistinct accent wrought with his signature smirks and eyebrow raising, his flashy smile, and his infinite charisma.

Having said all of this, at the end of the movie, we were left feeling quite accepting with what we had just witnessed and sort of loving it. Like we mentioned, it's a total popcorn flick. The story itself is an interesting takes on the legend of Hercules. It doesn't just show a fantastical display of mythology, but it shows a more "rational" explanation of how that mythology came to be (read the word "rational" loosely, please). You're not going to get any grandiose messages at the end of viewing it, but not every movie needs to do that. What you will get from this movie is Hercules kicking major ass, some pretty epic battle scenes, and a band of merry misfits that provide for some laughs here and there (whether intended or not), as well as an overall decent supporting cast. It's ultimately a really fun viewing experience and is all about having a good time for an hour and 40 minutes.

While it isn't something as great as a superhero movie in terms of quality or win-ability, it made us smile in a cheesy sort of way. This film is relatively low risk for Dwayne Johnson since he has his niche as an action star. There will definitely be a ton of haters surrounding this movie and we're not even sure if it will do well at the box office, but damn it, we enjoyed it. Suspension of disbelief, people!

Another strange observation: The Rock has really huge nipples.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~65%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "The Lone Ranger"

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