Summer Stupidity: HERCULES 2014 (Media Review!)

Summer Stupidity: HERCULES 2014 (Media Review!)

“Hercules” is an hour-long, training montage, a twenty minute fight scene, and a two-minute murder mystery; and none of them are good. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Hercules, the super strong, demigod we all know and- Just kidding! This Hercules is actually a mercenary, who doesn’t believe in mythical things like centaurs or gods and only leans into the “Son of Zeus” story cause it gets them more jobs. In spite of this blatant lie reveal premise, he’s still a super strong, noble paragon, and all around good dude who just wants to live a nice, quiet life. He’s accompanied by a rag-tag crew of misfit heroes that share nothing in common with their mythical counterparts, asides name and gender. Featuring his childhood friend, Autolycus, a knife-happy snarker who learns the real treasure was the friends they made along the way and also all the gold. The seer, Amphiaraus, who’s really stoked to die and then doesn’t. His nephew, Iolaus, is immediately no-homo on introduction and spends the entire movie telling the classic Hercules myths and getting made fun of for it. Tydeus, a traumatised, non-verbal berserker and probably the best character (mostly likely because he doesn’t talk.) And Atalanta, who spends half her dialogue insulting men and calling their dicks small. No woman I know thinks about dicks that much. Directed by Brett Ratner, what a surprise~ Our heroes are chilling in a tavern, post successful mission, when they are approached by a beautiful but cagey princess who asks them to help her father John Hurt fight this bad dude Rhesus. Herc and friends agree to one last job and train his rag-tag army of farmers and peasants into an elite fighting force for an hour of the movie’s run time. Then beat Rhesus easily, and immediately learn that John Hurt was actually evil all along, and it’s time to fight him instead. Complicating matters, this movie decided that myths are dumb and fake; so, every mythical monster Hercules ever fought was either an exaggerated regular animal or a dude in a Scooby-Doo mask. So, there are no supernatural elements in the *Greek* hero movie. The movie also has the audacity to suggest that Hercules maybe isn’t even a demigod, but we watch him flip an entire horse with one hand so I’m not buying it. In the mythology, Hera drove Hercules crazy and he kills his wife and kids; and the movie turns this into a bit of mystery because it never actually acknowledges the gods are real. So, if Hera’s not responsible, who is? This is all answered in the final half hour of the movie, when it turns out that John Hurt was in league with his cousin, Eurystheus, all along. And Eurystheus drugged Herc, murdered his family and told Hercules he did it when he woke up. Trusting dude. This movie is astonishingly boring. We watch a rag-tag bunch of misfits train a faceless army of minions to fight another faceless army of minions for two-thirds of the movie, until the third act twist reveals it was all pointless anyway. The murder mystery sub-plot was actually kind of interesting but almost gets no build up before we learn the truth. And it’s also…like, really obvious. Tropes aren’t bad but if your story’s already boring they’re not going to make it less boring. There’s one scene where Hercules wakes up in a bit of a daze, goes out to surveys the battlefield and sees the bodies of his family being eaten by Cerberus. He freaks out, grabs a spear and charges and the vision fades revealing itself as a hallucination. Hercules is very shaken and as he’s processing what happened. His non-verbal berserker buddy, quietly lays a hand on his shoulder in solidarity and understanding. A moment of beautiful visual storytelling and shared vulnerability between two very broken people. One visibly broken; the other only stoic under a facade. This scene is really, really good. Also Ian McShane is hilarious. That’s it. This movie is really boring. Overall, I give this move a three out of ten. Why would you Scooby-Doo Greek mythology???

82 thoughts on “Summer Stupidity: HERCULES 2014 (Media Review!)

  1. Damnit. I thought this would be the Disney Hercules. I wonder how many people have experienced that same disappointment.

  2. I'm sorry, were you expecting Dwayne Johnson to star in a decent film?
    Not to knock his talent as an actor or anything… Except that's exactly what I'm doing. Rock Dude's acting is barely above WWE level.

    That said, I really love the idea of mythological stories told in realistic settings. The premise of this film had a lot of potential. Just too bad the writing, directing, acting, producing, and executive producing, all dragged this beauty of a concept down to the status of, "just another shitty popcorn flick starring The Rock."

  3. Hey Red, I was looking for a miscellaneous myths on the myth of Persephone but couldn't find one specifically about that myth. I wanted to know the full story because I'm reading a comic named Lore Olympus on Webtoon. I'm a mythology fan what can I say, I mean it is how I can across this channel!

  4. Yeah why the fuck would one scoobydoo mythology when they could just keep rolling with the exaggerated animal thing they were doing? I mean, it would just be taking the "These animals are totally possible" thing one step further with mutants that just don't have the powers people think they have

  5. I uhh actually enjoyed this movie, maybe because I don't have much of a plethora of deep information about the Greek characters.

  6. The movie wasn't what I had expected, but I still enjoyed it for what it was. Then again, I also liked the remake of the Clash of the Titans, so my taste is obviously not widely shared.
    Although, I wonder as a movie viewer. Is it better to have keen insight into movies and be happy with fewer of them, or to have a lousy taste and simply enjoy more movies?

  7. There is a comic book series called "Herakles" by Edouard Cour published by Magnetic Press.
    It is very good, very entertaining and faithful to the myths. A must read

  8. The whole scoobydooing thing could have worked if they had done it right. Instead they tried to play it where "maybe he is maybe he isnt" to try to keep you on the edge of your seat. Either do it as no one believes hes a demigod but he is, or most to everyone believes he is, but he isnt.

  9. I didn’t think it was possible to make a Hercules retelling more inaccurate than Disney’s Hercules but I was wrong. This Hercules wins.

  10. “Why would you Scooby-Doo Greek mythology?”
    Because hack writers think it's "unique" and "subverts expectations."

  11. I only wish I had a HS literature teacher like you… I might have actually paid attention instead of sleeping though class…:)

  12. I would love to see this channel analyze literary/cinematic characters that they find interesting. Movies and books and whatnot are cool and all, but I think theres a really large untapped market with individual character analysis and this channel has so many amazing insights

  13. I went to the freaking theater to watch this movie bcz the trailer sold it to us as showing the actual myth and the fight the lion and all that stuff but NOPE, MYTHS ARE DUMB! and then i had to sit there through the rest of te movie bcz i had already paid for it.

  14. Any chance we can get a Trope Talk on "Jeanne d'Archétype"? The trope where a character is built after Joan of Arc?

  15. I wish red can make a video about the picture of Dorian Gray because I just finished reading it and would love to hear people’s interpretation of it.

  16. Most negative reviews I see for this movie are the same, complaining about "They made mythology fake". I actually liked the movie. It gave the story of Hercules a "What if it happened in the real world" view. Just like the movie Next. Most hate the ending and think it stupid (I'm not spoiling it), I on the other hand thought it was brilliant. I guess I have a different mindset than most.

  17. Ok, but why wouldn't his cousin….just kill Hercules. If he has the brains to set him up for killing his family, why didn't he go the extra half step of setting up a murder-suicide. You know, leave one less thread lying around

  18. i thoguht this movie was great, it's not only got the rock, who is doing good considering drama isn't his strong point, but it's also a clever twist on the hercules myth, something that's been happening a lot more lately, taking mythical things and going "what if we take out the magic and explain everyhing" it's a pretty neat trope and i'm fond of it, but either way, good video, i disagree and really love this movie, but good video, you guys are always a fun watch x3 also the reason the berserker has that moment with herc is because both of them suffer from different forms of PTSD, where the berserker likely has been fighting off hallucinations for years and obviously dreams them all the time hence the scene with the kid when he's asleep, herc is newly dealing with this issue and the places a hand on his shoulder to let him know it'll be alright, it's a really touching scene and well done, also i disagree, this movie is GREAT, personally, seven out of ten, cuz it coulda done some stuff better, and maybe not lingered on some points as much, but yeah, i disagree with your video, but it was entertaining and love your guys stuff, so you get a like, keep up the good work guys! also yes, ian mcshane is hilarious, always, and forever

  19. I have no problem – in theory – with demythologizing a thing, and several "reveals" here were even kind of cool (the blur of the centaur into cavalry, cereberus being three dogs), but it was handled poorly over-all, because, it didn't just give mundane explanations (while rarely coming up with a solid reason in-character for things to become those myths), it also treated the source material… poorly. I think if you want to go through the process of demythologizing, you've got to either absolutely adore the source material (and honor it as you do it), or you have to have something so fun and awesome that it does matter. This tried to be the latter… but it failed (and that's because the latter is very, very difficult to pull off).

  20. You're telling me

    They made a Hercules movie

    Starring THE ROCK

    And they made the myths


    I have lost all faith in humanity

  21. Soooo, are we even going to acknowle the "other" Hercules movie, starring Kellan Lutz (in which Hera hooks Zeus up with the queen for an air quickie?- I can't belive I just wrote that sentence…)?

  22. Aw, man. I didn't read the whole title and thought this would be about Disney's Hercules movie. I couldn't wait for you to rip on that piping hot mess…

  23. Aww man, I enjoyed the film's theme of myths being a heroic fiction that inspires genuine heroic actions. And I've seen enough terrible formations in historical action movies that I really enjoyed the amount of focus the film places on the army learning to form an actual shield wall. Guess I'll file this with all the other media I can't like.

  24. There's this comic book series called Age of Bronze which also Scooby Doo's Greek Mythology but it gets away with it because it's actually interesting.

  25. I don't know, I think I would genuinely enjoy a "mythology" film with the premise of it being that there's no supernatural element whatsoever and the whole film focuses on human conditions under a setting where everyone believed in the supernatural. The main problem this film had for me is the long training montage.

  26. So uh, random thing, but : usually saying someone had a small dick in ancient greece would probably have been a compliment as it was seen as a sign of intellectuality, and a large penis seen as a sign of lust clouding your thoughts.
    Not in all cities, but in a fair few of them, its why statues of the gods always have tiny teeny penises instead of proper god-sized ones

  27. How much longer do you think we'll have to wait before we get a mythology movie that actually tells the myth right? Until then, I'm content with 'Troy' because it gets under 10 things wrong and the Percy Jackson movies for all their faults because again, as far as I remember, they got under 10 things wrong instead of nearly 50 like these new movies.

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