Hercules Movie Review

Hercules Movie Poster

Hulu has started streaming movies as well as TV shows. I’d wanted to see the new Hercules movie since it came out. Perfect Combination!

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson (are we still calling him the Rock?) in the title role, which is probably one of the best casts I can think of for Hercules.

The trailer advertises the classic story of the Twleve Labors of Hercules with our hero slaying many beasts  to thunderous applause.

That is not what the movie is about. At all.

So with that disappointment out of the way, let’s talk about what the movie is about.

Hercules and his band of friends are mercenaries with Hercules as the front man.

Hercules and his band of misfits are hired by King Cotys to defeat the barbarian warlord, Rhesus, who is attacking local towns. They train Cotys’ army and then lots of fight scenes ensue. Standard action movie stuff.

The group plays up Hercules’ reputation by constantly reinforcing that he is the son of Zeus and that he’s slain tons of fantastical monsters. All of that is false in this story. No monsters. No divine parentage. Just stories to make Hercules more intimidating to their foes.

There is a bit about Hercules having to fight centaurs later on in the movie, but a nod is given to what some people believe inspired the myth of centaurs, people riding horses. A person unfamiliar with that practice might assume that they were seeing a human-horse hybrid and not just a person on top of a horse.

As for Hercules’ well-known strength that many are familiar with from the Disney movie, that is actually in the movie. It’s not to the supernatural degree, but he is still really freaking strong.

There is some augmnetation for that intimidation factor I mentioned. At one point Hercules kills a man with one punch. The audience sees that he accomplished this by concealing an arrowhead in his fist and stabbing it into the man’s skull.

Hercules is very similar to 300 and Beowulf. He even shares the iconic scene in Beowulf where the title character shouts his name to emphasize his manliness. If you liked those movies you will like Hercules.

If you’re looking for a story that is actually about the myths of Hercules, that isn’t here. There are tons of references to the myths, but no actual reenactments. Similar to Troy the movie tries to show us how historical events could’ve inspired those myths instead of showing the myths themselves.

If none of that interests you the movie is still a decent action movie. Lots of well choreographed violence and snarky one-liners. It’s not the best in that genre, but I certainly enjoyed myself.

If any of the stuff I said interested you, go check out Hercules in the DVD section of your local store or on Hulu if you have a subscription (I don’t think you can watch it there if you don’t have one).

-GoCorral

San Andreas Movie Review

San Andreas Movie Poster

Saw another movie with my wife! This time it was San Andreas, the earthquake disaster movie.

The movie was excellent, if predictable. I’ve seen a decent amount of disaster movies and this one did not break the mold. It’s just very good within that genre.

The plot of the movie is pretty simple. A series of earthquakes rock the West Coast. Ray, a rescue worker played by Dwayne Johnson, must rescue his daughter and separated wife and get them to safety.

The characters are admittedly stereotypes but they’re stereotypes with depth. Ray is “the rescue worker who could save everyone except for his own daughter.”

We’ve all heard that before but the movie introduces it so well.

After an action scene at the start of the movie, Ray goes home and calls his daughter.

He invites her out to dinner while opening some mail. She declines dinner saying that she already has plans with “Mom and Daniel.” Ray looks disappointed but doesn’t let it come out in his voice as he finishes the phone call and the camera pans down to the divorce papers that he opened.

We instantly know almost everything about that family dynamic. Daniel is the mom’s new boyfriend and Ray is trying to not let it bother him.

Ray then goes upstairs and looks through some old photos and gets really sad when he comes to a photo of him his wife and two daughters.

Two daughters? But we’ve only seen one in the movie! Ah… that’s because the other one is dead.

You get all this information very quickly in the movie and it’s all given to you organically. No one had to mention the dead daughter. No one had to mention the divorce. Those are just things that the audience knows now, just as the characters know them.

That flawless characterization continues through the rest of the movie along with a bunch of awesome earthquake rescue stuff.

Ray pilots a helicopter, drives a truck, stops looters, flies a plane, parachutes, sails a boat through a tsunami, and looks amazing doing it. His wife, Em, played by Carla Gugino, manages to keep her hair looking fabulous while helping (seriously, her hair never lost its curls or got dirt in it).

The rise and fall of action is fairly predictable. “Wow! That was intense! Are they safe? NO!” repeats over and over.

Alexandra Daddario plays the daughter, Blake, who takes care of two English brothers she finds in San Francisco before the quake hits.

Blake also slowly gets sexier as the movie goes on. She loses her outer shirt first, then she gets sopping wet, followed by a few down the shirt shots.

Despite all the awesome stuff in the movie there are two glaring errors I have to mention.

First, the movie says that Bakersfield is 90 minutes from San Francisco by helicopter. This is only true at max speed for helicopters. The helicopter in the movie would’ve run out of gas before they made it to SF. Ray and Em should’ve known this and planned for it.

Second, one of the English brothers gets a large shard of glass stuck in his leg. Blake decides they need to remove it so they can keep moving, which is about the stupidest thing you can do in this situation.

They do a dirty job of bandaging his leg, but he probably needed a tournequit, not a bandage.

He continues to remain active through the rest of the movie. Even giving his younger brother a piggyback ride and swimming. All while mysteriously not bleeding out due to his untreated injury.

Em is also injured during the movie and that cut on her head conveniently disappears by the end.

Still, great movie I’d recommend it especially to Californians. This movie has everything that we’re scared of about the big quake that’s overdue. And you get to see the Golden Gate destroyed which was awesome and heartwrenching at the same time.

Go see San Andreas!

-GoCorral