Saturday, August 09, 2014

"Hercules" (2014)

How sad is this:  I almost didn't see this movie in the theater!  I kind of knew this was coming out at some point, cuz I'm a Dwayne Johnson fan, but Entertainment Weekly said zilch about it, and I never saw a trailer, so if my best friend hadn't gone to see it and said, "Dude, why haven't you seen this?  It's loads of fun!" I wouldn't have seen it at all.  Even then, I almost went to see Guardians of the Galaxy today instead, because it's Marvel and I like the songs in the trailer.  But I'm having serious trouble mustering up enthusiasm for Guardians -- I have this nagging fear it's going to be annoying.  Still, last night I looked at showtimes for this morning and discovered that the only Hercules showtime that would work would be for 3D.  And ponying up the extra $4 for 3D -- not my favorite activity.  So I decided to see Guardians after all.  Except this morning, I was like, "No, I'm pretty much guaranteed a good time if I go see a Dwayne Johnson swords-and-muscles movie, and I have had a long, hard week -- I'm going for the good time."  I'm so glad I did.

(If your eyebrows are raised right now, and you're going, "Hamlette is a Dwayne Johnson fan?  What?!?!" um... yes.  Ever since I saw The Scorpion King in the theater.  Twice.  Really dig him.  And relate to him, in a way -- like, the characters he plays, if I was a big, muscly guy instead of a small, non-muscly chick, I'd totally play those roles.  The way he plays them.  So.  Sorry if I blew your mind or messed with your ideas of me, but, there it is.  I know I haven't mentioned him on here lately cuz of um, no good reasons except it's been a while since I saw one of his movies, but anyway...)

This movie.  It's fun!  It wants to be fun!  Have I mentioned how much I love movies that are just here to have fun and give you a good ride, and aren't all pretentious with their seriousness and topicality and artsyness?  This is one of those movies.  And a well-made, well-acted fun movie, to boot!  Which are the best kind, of course.

Erm, yes.  Dwayne Johnson = good actor.  I did say that.  I meant it, too.  When it comes to watchability, to making me care about a character and feel what they're going through, to making me root for them with all my fist-pumping movie-goer heart?  Has that in spades, folks.  You don't believe me, go watch Walking Tall or The Rundown.  Or this!  Go watch this, quick, before it disappears from theaters!

Right.  Adrenaline mixed with enthusiasm makes me a little incoherent, have you noticed that?  :-D


So this takes the basic legend of Hercules and kind of skews it a bit.  Hercules the demi-god, son of Zeus and a human, had to go on all those quests to earn Hera's favor, etc.  In this, he has this band of followers that sort of helped that legend grow a bit -- Hercules isn't a demi-god, he's just a big, strong, fierce, mighty warrior.  And a good man.  And he's got this sad past, and he's got his friends, and they're mercenaries, and they get hired to protect this old king and his kingdom from a bunch of marauders.  Lots of thrilling heroics ensue, and then... then things get reeeeeeeeeeeally interesting.  And I was sitting in my theater seat literally bouncing up and down, alternately whisper-shouting, "YES!" and "NO!" and probably really annoying the three senior citizen ladies sitting behind me.  That's okay, though, they annoyed me early in the movie with their non-whispered conversation about non-movie-related things.  I was also fist-pumping, I clapped my hands at several points, and I laughed a lot.  A lot.


Cuz two of Hercules' followers are played by Ian McShane (remember how great he was in Jack the Giant Slayer?) and Rufus Sewell, and they were both zinging off these one-liners and funny asides and, wow, loved it.


And hey, when did Rufus Sewell get so hot?!  Oh my goodness, he was actually distracting me from Dwayne Johnson at times, which is no mean feat.  He should have grown this beard and gotten all slice-and-dicey years ago!  Not that I didn't love him as Ladislaw in Middlemarch, cuz I pretty much bought that series just for him.  And he's been loads of fun in everything from A Knight's Tale to Amazing Grace, but I have never seen him this attractive.  Keep the beard, Rufus!  And the arms.  The attitude you've always had, thank goodness.


While we're discussing the followers, I have to mention Atalanta, a no-nonsense Amazon archer played so nicely by Ingrid Bolso Berdal -- I loved her!  Wanted to be her!  Totally accepted by this band of butt-kickers, no one's drooling over her, she's not just there for the eye-candy -- I want more characters like her in my movies.  Immediately.  Yeah, her costume shows skin, but let's be honest, it's no more skin than Dwayne Johnson's baring.  Really, really liked her.

Okay, so anyway, thank you, Deb, for being the best friend I could ever have and encouraging me to go see this!  I'm so glad I didn't wait for DVD, though I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a copy.

Is this movie family-friendly?  No.  Lots of violence, a fistful of swearwords including one f-bomb, and lots of scary moments.  My kids can see this when they're like 17.

16 comments:

  1. Adrenaline mixed with enthusiasm makes me a little incoherent, have you noticed that?

    That cracked me up! And yes, when did Rufus Sewell get so hot? I had the same reaction. I've liked him in everything I've seen him in over the years, but in this movie... I know most men improve as they age, but wow. Whatever he's doing, he's doing it right.

    He should have grown this beard and gotten all slice-and-dicey years ago!

    That also made me laugh out loud.

    So delighted you enjoyed it as much as I did, and very glad you didn't decide to wait on it. (We may end up being the only two who like both Jack The Giant Slayer and this one, but that's everyone else's loss!)

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    1. When I was poking around finding pics for this, I ran across an interview with Rufus Sewell where he said that he went on the "Dwayne Johnson diet" and by the end of the shoot, he thought he would never want to eat salmon again. And then discovered he was constantly craving protein! So he thought maybe he'd keep it up for a while. Also, he said that when you're standing next to Dwayne Johnson all day, it's easy to feel very weak and small and spindly. And then he went home after filming wrapped and discovered none of his suits fit anymore. Hee.

      I told my dad about this movie last night, and he said it sounded great and he planned to get it on DVD. I think he would get a kick out of it too.

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  2. Regarding "Guardians of the Galaxy" I was snookered into watching it with my sister and a few friends, and it was a lot of fun. Not my favorite by any means, and I'd much rather have been watching another Captain America movie, but it was okay. Everyone went with loved it, and I mean LOVED IT. Their adoration left me a tad befuddled, I admit. The best thing about it is Rocket. He has the greatest lines!

    I don't recall ever watching a Dwayne Johnson movie. Maybe a PG one where he's a dad or something. I don't remember the details. I might see "Hercules" just because I like mythology. And I always find when I have no expectations that I'm prone to love a movie more. Glad you had such a fun time! The last movie I saw on my own was "The Wolverine" and it was awesome!

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    1. Trying to think of a PG movie where he's a dad. I haven't seen all his movies, but the only PG one I can think of is Tooth Fairy. Which I thought was hilarious, and would totally love to watch again with my kids when they're a tad older.

      I will probably go see Guardians of the Galaxy next weekend. Or possibly the weekend after. We shall see.

      I almost never get to see movies with other people -- in the past 2 years, I've managed to see 5 movies with another person along. It's very fun going with other people, but it just rarely works out.

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    2. Y'all might be thinking of "The Game Plan"...which is flipping HILARIOUS. Also, he plays the guitar (for real) and sings Elvis, who he is a real fan of. :-)

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    3. I knew he plays the guitar, but I didn't know he was an Elvis fan! Okay, that's on my to-watch list now.

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  3. I'm trying to remember, but I don't think I've seen The Rock in anything that wasn't a comedy, and I think he's good in comedies, but I guess since you were laughing a lot, this actually was a comedy of sorts? You're description of thrilling heroics and comedy makes me slightly more interested to see it! If it doesn't take itself as seriously as I thought it would, that's a big plus. I'm glad you decided to see this first, and I also really REALLY hope Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't annoy you when you see it! :D

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    1. Hee, yes, he's loads of fun in comedies. And he's always funny in his action movies too, at least, the ones I've seen. Which admittedly, is not all of them, just um... nine. And I've seen two that weren't action movies: Tooth Fairy is a family comedy, and Gridiron Gang is a sappy-ish sports movie thing that I would never have watched if he hadn't been in it.

      This definitely does not take itself as seriously as, say, Troy. Lots of humor, lots of fun. And a surprisingly sad backstory too, which mixed in just fine.

      I'll probably go see Guardians next weekend.

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  4. I love this review! Like, really love this review! I hadn't even realized that this was coming out, but now you've totally convinced me to watch it.

    Also! I am SO pleased that I'm not the only one who loves Middlemarch for Rufus Sewell. I'm positive I wouldn't love that mini series half so well without him.....*dreamy sigh* ;P

    And just so you know? I could totally see you as a big muscly guy role, even if you're a non-muscly girl. Somehow, I think you'd completely pull it off.

    By the way, have I mentioned how much I love this review? I do. A lot. You had me grinning like a madwoman in Barnes and Noble. Thanks for that! ;)

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    1. Hee, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you like the movie if/when you see it!

      And yes, Rufus Sewell makes Middlemarch, doesn't he? I spent the whole thing waiting for him to return. I then went and bought a copy of the book so I can read it and imagine him the role.

      And thanks! I think me in a big, muscly guy role would be completely hilarious. They could give me the bold lines and the swagger and everything, and then I'd be this mom in her 30s who just... isn't at all a match for what she thinks she is.

      :-D

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  5. I'm so glad you review all these great movies. :-) I thought about going to see this last weekend because it had been on my IMDb watchlist for a year, then realized I hadn't even seen the trailer. I thought it would just be a visual hunkfest for all the ladies to drool over, but the trailer made it sound like a cool action movie with a nice story. I ended up doing something different, but now I kind of want to go see it.

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    1. Hee! I'm glad you like my reviews. This is so much more than just a hunkfest (though there is one shirtless scene -- but it's a patching-up-the-wounded scene, not a gratuitous "I'm shirtless for no reason" scene). I really liked the story, and the action was lots of fun. If your theater still has it, go!

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  6. Hehe, funny review! I don't think this is really my type of movie though, but I agree with you about Rufus Sewell. I have always found him quite handsome, but it was his role as dr. Jacob Hood in the (unfortunately shortlived) series The Eleventh Hour where he played a damaged scientist. Handsome + intelligent + vulnerable = phew!

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    1. Lol, thanks! ANd yeah, if you don't like lots of actiony fights, not really gonna be your kind of movie.

      I'll have to see if I can find "The Eleventh Hour" sometime! Hmm, maybe Hulu or YouTube...

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    2. I had a look for you, the series is not on YouTube unfortunately. I could however find it on watchseries.lt. Do you ever use that website?

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    3. I'd never heard of that site! Thanks! Now to find time to watch...

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