Take a Drink: every time Hercules hits someone so hard they fly backward.
Do a Shot: every time Hercules grabs someone by the throat.
Sip Your Drink: every time someone yells.
Take a Drink: whenever you notice a potential historical inaccuracy.
Take a Drink: every time you notice something very stupid and Ratner-esque but you let it go because you’re having fun.
Go Fuck Yourself: if you’re like 60% of IMDB posters and can’t stand that a black man is playing Hercules.
By: Hawk Ripjaw (Three Beers) –
In this portrayal of the son of Zeus, the muscular demigod has completed nearly all of his famous 12 Labors from the mythology and now spends his days making mad stacks and scoring pussy all across Greece as a mercenary with his family of mercenary pals: Comic Relief Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Best Friend Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), Hot Chick Atalanta (Ingrid Berdal), Silent Badass Tydeus (Askel Hennie), and Secondary Comic Relief Iolaus (Reece Ritchie). They’re commissioned by Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to fight off some invaders. He does it, promised his weight in gold and the possibility to enter the vagina of the king’s hot daughter. And that’s the movie! What’s a subplot?
Hercules is at its best when it lets Dwayne Johnson do what he himself does best: be a fucking raw badass. There’s so much ownage left and right at the hands of Hercules, whether he’s hitting someone Looney Toons style or literally throwing a fucking horse. And somehow, between all that he still manages to stay nice and greasy.
For the final third, Hercules really shines. This is when Hercules finds out he’s been double-crossed and goes completely apeshit and tears up the bad guys across the palace. This is a straight-up Dwayne Johnsongasm for the last 20 minutes. While he’s certainly intermittently badass for the first two thirds of the movie, he finally cuts loose here and makes for a completely entertaining finale.
Perhaps most shockingly of all is the fact that most of the humor lands without feeling forced or stupid. The real scene-stealer is, surprise surprise, Ian McShane, as a seer who frequently incorrectly predicts his own death. Elsewhere there are other amusing bits and pieces, including one of the best uses of the PG-13 f-bomb in recent memory, notable for how batshit out of left field it is.
Those expecting a mythology-filled fantasy adventure will be left wanting worse than Robin Thicke watching Baggage Claim on repeat at one in the morning while he stuffs Klondike bars into every orifice he can think of. Those shots of Hercules fighting the Hydra, boar, and lion from the trailer are pretty much all there is in the way of mythological monsters, unless you count Joseph Fiennes’ hairdo or the weird, broken, weepy way Herc’s wife smiles as if someone’s pointing a gun at her pet hamster just offscreen and will pull the trigger if she doesn’t act, damn it. I swear that woman is a robot. Anyway, yeah: For the most part, this is a fairly rudimentary sword-and-sandals movie where the action is concerned, and fans of the actual mythology should expect as much before they work up their frothing loins.
TRAINING MONTAGE ALERT
TRAINING MONTAGE ALERT
The best Brett Ratner movie in years.
The most entertaining Hercules movie of the year.
A wonderfully metrosexual performance from Joseph Fiennes.
These are sentences that, in theory, don’t sound that great. But they’re all true. Hercules is a mostly good, cheerfully stupid action movie that mostly knows what it wants to be and accomplishes that. While The Legend of Hercules was so bad I was traumatized for a good week following it, Hercules has traumatized me in a different way in that I’ve legitimately enjoyed something from Brett Ratner. It’s like the end of Castaway where Tom Hanks returns home and has so much cognitive dissonance he can’t properly assimilate back into society. But at the same time, we can rejoice in knowing that, like the 12 Labors of Hercules, Dwayne Johnson has emerged victorious once again, above all odds. Of course, Ratner’s soul probably belongs to Hades now.