Friday, July 25, 2014

Hercules Movie Review

Dwayne Johnson is Hercules

F*cking Centaurs!

You weren't expecting Hamlet, were you? Dwayne Johnson channels his inner Schwarzenegger in Brett Ratner's Hercules, delivering exactly what I expected/hoped for... silliness, violence and a lion's share of one-liners that most actors would be ashamed to utter. Make no mistake, this isn't a good movie; but the Rock is so darn charismatic and entertaining, you can't help but like/love it.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' film HERCULES, starring Dwayne Johnson, bows on July 25th. Based on Radical Comics' Hercules by Steve Moore, this ensemble-action film is a revisionist take on the classic myth, HERCULES. The epic action film also stars Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and Academy Award-nominee John Hurt.

What’s Best: Johnson takes a step backwards (in terms of acting) but given the material, he sort of has to. I've been waiting with bated breath for Johnson to officially replace Schwarzenegger as "King of the action heroes; and this "ode to Conan the Barbarian" may finally cinch it. Hercules may need to complete a dozen dangerous missions to win over the gods; but Johnson only needs to flash his trademark smile to win over audiences.

What’s Not: Ratner covers ever cliché in the book, against a painfully loud IMAX background. Extreme close-ups of the Rock's muscles? Check. Braveheart speech? Check. Token female warrior, who has to prove herself? Check. A quiver with unlimited arrows? Check. Chick with big breasts? Check. Check. Check. BTW, Karolina Szymczak (Baby Hercules' mom) I love you! Take Johnson out of the mix, and I'd blast this movie to kingdom come. Lucky for everyone involved, you can't.

Best Line: Johnson rocks the dialogue bell early with, 'I did it with my bare hands,' but loses out to co-star Sewell (Autolycus) who chimes in with, 'Today's lesson: How not to stab yourselves,' and my personal favorite, 'Don't just stand there. Kill someone!'

Overall: The "Mighty Protector of Athens" beats the bejeebers out of his opponents... usually with his ultra-LOUD club; but he could be just as effective, sitting down and chatting with each and every bad guy instead. I'd still be entertained. There's absolutely nothing in this movie that I haven't seen before; but somehow Johnson makes you forget all the laziness and unoriginality. Heck, he even has his own press agent... back in 358 B.C. What a guy! The Rock rules, and Hercules benefits by guilt and association. Have fun!

P.S. Just in case you were wondering: Nicole Kidman's career hasn't bottomed out... That's Norwegian star Ingrid Bolsø Berdal toting the aforementioned quiver of endless arrows.