Hercules – 4 out of 5
Hercules is one of those legends that will never stop being told. Sure, the quality of those adaptations may run the spectrum of that boring one with a guy from Twilight that is better used as a sleep aid than a epic tale to a fun Disney film that has a great performance from James Woods as Hades to having a mildly tolerable Kevin Sorbo before he decided to Kirk Cameron his career and let all of us know how his religious beliefs affect his opinions on current events like we really fucking care…and then you have the adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novels that include a man who seems like the only person you should cast in a Hercules movie.
|"Hakuna Matata, motherfucker!"|
|Don't worry, McShane, The Rock makes us all feel small. Hell, somehow I'm sitting|
in his shadow while I type this.
|Young lady, you are not fighting a war wearing that!|
Of course, Hercules is wearing a loincloth...
This was the Hercules film for 2014 that I was excited about. Even in my review of that other one, I kept saying that I couldn’t wait to see the character played by someone who can act (The Rock has really come into his own in the world of acting and has been able to do something few former pro-wrestlers have been able to do...make a successful transition to a full-time acting career). However, even though I was excited, the reality of the behind-the-scenes of the film and the royal screw job that the creator Steven Moore got from optioning the comics was hard to ignore—mostly because Alan Moore wouldn’t let us not NOT know as he requested we boycott the film. The basics is that, before he died, Moore (Steve, not Alan) wanted his name removed from the promotion of the film because he got screwed out of money when the comic was optioned to be a film. They used his name anyway and the rest is Moore (Alan, not Steve) saying, “Don’t go see this fucking movie!” It was this reason, and the fact that I was both poor and had scheduling issues, I never saw the film in the theaters and decided to wait until it got to my budget theater or was able to rent it. It’s a sad reality that screw-jobs like this happen a lot to comic artists and it pains me that we live in a world where comic book properties make mad money at the Box Office and we are finally living in a golden era where films like these aren’t just seen as “cartoon films” for nerds but we can’t treat the creators of the property with the respect the artists deserve.
|Hercules is sent out to take out the MGM lion...|
|"Hey army down there, I'm totes a centaur!"|
|"Let's just cut the heads off of two of them and glue them to the final one...|
|I have a sneaking suspicion that The Rock didn't grow that lion's head either.|
|"Fuck you, horse!"|
The Rock is a big, muscular guy and he oozes badassness (totally a word). He seemed fit to play the part even if he was portraying your run-of-the-mills Herc but he wasn’t. This was a slightly jaded hero who uses his legend and tall-tales in order to get paid. He doesn’t buy into his own bullshit and uses it to fill his pockets with gold. However, this story is all about Hercules finally understanding where he comes from and who he is—basically buying into his own bullshit—and The Rock sells the shit out of it. I believe he is the son of Zeus and when he breaks his chains (literally and figuratively) I was ready to leap off the couch and join his fight. And then, when I found out that The Rock broke real chains and passed out several times trying to do it, it only made me get into his performance more.
|The fact he broke real chains in this scene makes me scared to ever give a movie with|
The Rock in it a bad review...luckily no one reads these reviews.
|"Hey, you guys back there...you smell what I'm|
The other mercs in Hercules crew might not be as large of a presence as The Rock is as Hercules but they all have their part to play and add to the film. Ian McShane is incredibly entertaining as the prophet Amphiaraus. His arrogance and acceptance of his own mortality brought some lighthearted moments to the film. Rufus Sewell and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal may not have the largest parts in the story but both have their moments that are enjoyable and, finally, Aksel Hennie was a fun addition as the animalistic Tydeus. Granted, the rest of his gang may not have a lot of focus and all have backstory that is, for the most part, just casually mentioned and never really dipped deeper into, they all do their roles quite well and add to the tone of the film well. In fact, there really aren’t any complaints from me in the acting and cast department.
|Tydeus once saw his parents having sex...he never got over it.|
|Not a sight you wanna see...|
|Because this happens.|
|"Before we go to war, I must do my French Stewart impression..."|
|The War Doctor seems worried...|