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View Full Version : Hercules (Brett Ratner)



Henry Gale
07-25-2014, 01:43 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1d/Hercules_and_the_amazon_women_ xlg.jpeg???

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1267297/)

Henry Gale
07-25-2014, 01:57 AM
Just terrible.

It's like an attempt to set a benchmark for the dullest movie with the biggest budget. It's insane just how un-self-aware it is of the worst pieces of formula and silly past conventions from seemingly everything in this genre's past. It just parades them foolishly and aimlessly.

It's like a spoof of every giant greek myth or sword-wielding action movie of the last thirty years, only with the jokes surgically removed, and then any and every interesting character trait, sense of interesting storytelling or visually dynamic world-building and actual propulsively constructed scene-structuring taken out for good measure.

That actual parodic version of the movie would probably just be something like Your Highness, but as much as I might be in the minority of loving that both as a comedy and as a solid, heartfelt homage to so many late '70s to mid-'80s fantasy swashbucklers, I will absolutely unequivocally say that anyone has to admit Green's movie has a more distinct style, discernible arcs and way more inventive action sequences than whatever the fuck Ratner tries to attempt here. It's like a bad video game where all the levels are boring and the cut scenes are completely skippable because they don't only bore you but don't progress anything important.

If you've seen the trailers and think that all the "Hercules fighting hydras/giant boars/lions" business looks cool, then you can save yourself some time and money by watching those promos again, because they're only in the opening two minutes and gloss over them quickly as much as the trailers did. The reason for that does play into something of an interesting seed of a premise that is there somewhere -- and maybe it comes from the comic that inspired it (which this apparently botched and removed itself from in most other interesting things about it) -- which deals with Hercules not really being a demi-God and using that built-up legend to get what he wants and inspire those he liberates and fights with, but any fleshed out and satisfying direction that could go is suffocated by every single cliche, archetype and lame misdirect a 98-minute movie could seemingly corral. And even then, it doesn't especially make sense that he's not actually the son of Zeus when it would be the only explanation for him throwing horses like they're futons and breaking and pushing over 100-foot tall marble statues cemented into monuments.

The happy ending to this was that even though it was a free screening, a 10-minute glitch with the IMAX 3D's system which caused one eye of the glasses to go dim for everyone and force the movie into 2D meant I and everyone in the theatre got courtesy passes on the way out. It's just a shame I can't assure anyone that experience of completely luck when they see this. All I have is the movie itself, and it is shit.

* / 2.4

TGM
07-27-2014, 04:42 PM
This movie was seriously fun as hell. I wasn't even in all that good a mood going into it, yet this movie was just what I needed. An absolute blast from start to finish. Awesome over-the-top action, fun one liners, and a story that's actually a bit of a different take on the Hercules legend, which made for an interesting watch. Just a great time at the movies all around. Completely surpassed every expectation I had of it.

Henry Gale
07-28-2014, 02:06 AM
At least we have two opinions on the complete opposite of the spectrum now. :P

There just came a point about a half-hour to 45 minutes in when I just sank in my seat when I realized, "I've seen this movie before. And I'm not even sure I liked it the last time either."

It's like Immortals or either Clash of the Titans, only without anything visually interesting happening or it feeling the need to build stakes or any characters you can describe beyond what their clothes or weapons are. It's the sort of movie where everyone laughs with the same slow and deep chortle, as if they're reading out the words "Hah hah haaah" from a teleprompter (usually with their arms crossed for added effect), and children yell for or greet their parents with annoying, usually ADR-sounding "Father!" or "Mother!" exclamations. And I'm not even gonna bother with the main training scene, but you'll be STUNNED how it shakes out for this scrappy bunch of newbies!

TGM
07-28-2014, 02:34 AM
I'll give you that it doesn't come anywhere near Immortals, from a stylistic stand point at least. But this movie absolutely trumps those two in terms in sheer fun factor. I also gotta say that I can't really agree with your assessment that the movie's not aware of itself, as I totally got a self-aware vibe from it, at least in certain regards, especially the way it continued to increasingly get more and more over-the-top, whether it be in the action or the characters' dialogue. Not to mention how it even goes so far as to openly poke fun at other incarnations of the Hercules character. Sure, it has its fair share of cliche, but it wasn't to an annoying degree I felt, and I found that I genuinely enjoyed following our cast well enough to where such things didn't bother me.

I also just really can't get over how awesome Ian McShane's character was here. You could at least enjoy the bits with him embracing his inevitable demise, right? :P

Alex Weitzman
07-29-2014, 05:00 AM
No gospel music? No Mickey Goldmill satyr? No anachronistic studio-executive-as-Satan?

Pass.

Dead & Messed Up
07-29-2014, 08:02 AM
No gospel music? No Mickey Goldmill satyr? No anachronistic studio-executive-as-Satan?

Pass.

I've never really been able to embrace the Disney version, mostly because it plays so damn loose with the actual myths, and I grew up on them.

Maybe Ratner's film can present a more accurate take on the story of bwah hah hah hah hah hah.

Alex Weitzman
07-29-2014, 01:38 PM
I've never really been able to embrace the Disney version, mostly because it plays so damn loose with the actual myths, and I grew up on them.

Maybe Ratner's film can present a more accurate take on the story of bwah hah hah hah hah hah.

If I'm gonna watch a weirdo version of Greek mythology that gets nothing right, I'll take that with James Woods in his all-time best role and Rip Torn pretending to be nice, thankyouverymuch.

Henry Gale
07-29-2014, 04:35 PM
I'll give you that it doesn't come anywhere near Immortals, from a stylistic stand point at least. But this movie absolutely trumps those two in terms in sheer fun factor.

Well I meant more the original 1981 Clash of the Titans with even the not-great-but-still-okay remake for a more modern comparison to how the template for Ratner's Hercules operates, and the visual flourishes it fails to compare to. I didn't have any fun with it because I couldn't find anything to grab onto to put stakes in.

The action is pretty geographically well communicated on screen, but aside from Hercules and his team, those big formations often come off as just a mess of bad guys in one colour scheme maybe winning / killing the people on the good guy side and outfits.


I also gotta say that I can't really agree with your assessment that the movie's not aware of itself, as I totally got a self-aware vibe from it, at least in certain regards, especially the way it continued to increasingly get more and more over-the-top, whether it be in the action or the characters' dialogue. Not to mention how it even goes so far as to openly poke fun at other incarnations of the Hercules character. Sure, it has its fair share of cliche, but it wasn't to an annoying degree I felt, and I found that I genuinely enjoyed following our cast well enough to where such things didn't bother me.

At the end of the day, it's all archetype and convention in new costumes and backdrops. It's self-aware to the point of knowing that it's a modern day retelling of a story that probably never happened, and seemingly committing with that amount of emotional investment.

The slightly meta nod doesn't really make all that much sense either since one of the titles does only kind of resemble the Renny Harlin movie from earlier this year and the other seemed to be referring to the comic that Ratner's movie was adapted from. The crew is given its own moments and half-hearted backstories, but it seems to genuinely distract from developing Johnson as a lead. It's a weak percent of screentime spread between them telling us ultimately inconsequential things about them instead of properly giving the title character any dimension as he wanders from battle to battle with misdirect-heavy flashbacks, hallucinations and dreams slowly telling us about one key tragedy about him along the way and not much more.

Why would any movie want us to think that our titular hero possibly murdered his own family for the better part of its second and third acts is beyond me.


I also just really can't get over how awesome Ian McShane's character was here. You could at least enjoy the bits with him embracing his inevitable demise, right? :P

The moment I liked most was when he first saw the storm of arrows resembling his premonition and welcoming it with open arms. But otherwise -- as much as I like McShane -- I just thought it was really strained comic relief with so little genuine inspiration to fit into the rest of the movie other than a production note telling the screenwriters to add some comedic bits here and there. McShane's performance just has an aura of an actor exhausted and disappointed he isn't being given more to do. Rufus Sewell fairs a lot better with more his effortless charm and swagger livening up the scenes he's made a key focus.

The most consistent compliment I keep seeing for this movie is how well it plays like an old-school B-movie. It should strive for better! Especially if its taking hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver something, and capturing that matinee spirit and scale shouldn't cost that much in this day and age.

So let me put it this way, if you want to save a trip to the theatre, just do a double feature of 1982's The Sword & The Sorcerer and The Rock's debut vehicle (2002's The Scorpion King), and you'll get about the level of sophistication and maybe even a bit more goofy fun than I think anything in Hercules captures. They're not very good movies either, but at least they don't seem to think they are, and that's a key difference.

Grouchy
01-05-2015, 11:06 AM
Who came up with the idea of post-modernist Hercules who has to pretend he's the son of Zeus to make money? Yeah, I know it comes from some graphic novel, but it's totally wrong for a movie which has absolutely nothing going for it except for The Rock and a collection of CGI things being thrown around. If you can't make something decent, at least embrace the fantasy.

Skitch
01-05-2015, 01:03 PM
I don't know if anyone has failed more upwards than Brett Ratner.