Monday, October 1, 2012

D52 Review - Hercules

Back when I was younger, every day after school I’d come home, make myself a snack, lay on the floor in front of the TV and watch Hercules. I did this for weeks. So, thinking back to that, I figured there had to be a reason I watched it so much. Could it be that it would hold the same candle now as it did then?

Well, in some ways, it does. I certainly like it better than some of the movies I’ve seen in this project. Hearing Charlton Heston himself say “you go, girl” was rather surreal. And the music, even the songs I don’t particularly like tend to sneak their way into my brain and get caught in my head. All in all, it’s not a bad film.

A good selling point for this film has gotta be Meg, who was elevated to brief “Disney Princess” status back in the 90s. (Seriously, you could see her face plastered on stuff with Cinderella and Belle back then. Also, I had the Hercules collectable plastic plates and Hero/Villain CDs that McDonald’s released around the time of this movie. Yay for merchandising!)

The reason I like Meg is because unlike a lot of the female protagonists in Disney films, this one actually does something instead of just being the trophy for the guy saving the day. She’s wise, likable, and I really got kinda shocked by the brief one-sentence backstory they give her. She sells her soul to the devil to save the man she loves, and he’s like “Oh, that’s cool. Hey, that chick’s hot. Bye!”

Why wasn’t this movie about her? That would’ve been a TON more entertaining to hear about than Hercules going through puberty! I can be quoted on record as saying I don’t like Disney sequels (Though Rescuers Down Under was okay and Toy Story 2 and 3 were great) but I really wouldn’t mind it if they re-did this movie but cut out the teenage parts about Herc and replaced it with Meg’s first-hand story.

So, then we get to Herc being an adult, and HOLY SHIT, I forgot how bad that CGI Hydra was. I mean, DAMN. I remember being intimidated by that thing as a kid! I remember that being the height of movie technology for my puny little brain! Oh, how the times have changed. Also, as my sexy skox pointed out in his much more timely review, why does saving a village countless times from monsters and natural disasters and the like not count as being a selfless hero? Does it only count if you don’t accept endorsement deals for sneakers? Zeus has some odd rules.

So, we have the typical romantic misunderstanding where Hercules finds out that Meg is in cahoots with Hades, though unwilling, not that he’ll listen. I’ve said time and time again just how much I hate these things, although they are sorta true to life. People get into pointless tiffs and jump to conclusions, and sometimes things that can be fixed with a simple explanation get put on the backburner because one party just refuses to hear it. And since that’s so frustrating in real life, maybe that’s what pisses me off about this?

But naturally, things work out. Sort of. Hercules makes his own deal with Hades to lose his strength, but under the stipulation that Meg not get hurt or else he’ll get it right back. And naturally she does, he gets it back, she gets sent into the River Styx, Hercules has to ride Charon’s boat to find her, and for some reason, saving one woman and leaving all those other souls behind to rot is what makes him a god. Go figure. (Though I will say, the dying souls did freak me out a lot as a kid, and it’s still a pretty creepy scene.)

So, Hercules gets welcomed into Mount Olympus since he’s proven himself a hero, but decides to stay mortal with Meg on earth because hormones. Here’s something else I didn’t get: why couldn’t they make Meg a goddess so she could go too? I think she’s proven that she’s a pretty strong hero too, guys! Managing to bounce back from the worst ex-boyfriend ever, take a shot on some other guy, push him out of the way of a pillar and get herself killed so he wouldn’t get hurt, and THAT doesn’t warrant goddess status when Herc did pretty much the same thing, maybe even less to get his?

Oh, well. Aside from those nitpicks, it’s not that bad of a movie. I certainly had fun watching it, Danny DeVito’s singing aside.

Also – Zeus’s spiral nipples vs. Kokuom’s bear paw nipples. Discuss.

1 comment:

  1. I don't remember particularly noticing the Zeus nips. And Kokouom's are meant to be decorative anyway, so if he's into that sort of body art so be it.

    But I dare you to look up the Twilight Princess incarnation of Gorons (particularly the elder one...)