Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The trouble with Hercules

The other day Shawn and I sat down and watched the latest from Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock. No, we weren't lucky enough to get an advanced look at Furious 7 (how rad would that be!?!) but his spin on the legendary Hercules, which was released last summer.

Shawn's verdict is still out on that one. I'm going to give it a Bad. It was entertaining enough, with dodgy to decent special effects. The Rock is always an engaging presence, and the action was alright.

The trouble with Hercules, and several other big blockbusters, is how generic it seemed. Once the flick was over, it was out of my head. The violence was of the PG-13 variety, therefore watered down to the point of being unspectacular. Lots of stuff gets wrecked, but who gives a shit. A statement, not a fact.

Then I got to thinking, which is always dangerous. My wife got me Guardians of the Galaxy for Valentine's Day (I heart her so much), so I gave the flick another watch. It was still a fun ride, but at one point, I almost thought I was watching Star Trek Into Darkness.

It was during the Knowhere sequence, when all the spaceships are flying around blasting each other. For a second, the hyper-detailed visual effects and jam-packed framing reminded me a lot of the chase through Kronos in Into Darkness.

This has nothing to do with Guardians or Into Darkness. A sci-fi movie is a sci-fi movie, and a chase scene is a chase scene. But, for a few minutes at least, I was experiencing Top 40 Syndrome. Listen to Top 40 music and the songs "blur" into each other. Different artists, similar sound. Could the same now be true of Hollywood blockbusters? Are movies becoming so generic in an effort to appeal to everyone that they're starting to look and sound the same?

I miss the days when a movie like Hercules would've been big, bloody, R-rated and with a personality of its own. No one mistook Schwarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian for Beastmaster, and nobody looked at a few frames from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and thought they were watching The Empire Strikes Back.

Just some food for thought.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't even know this movie existed. I love living in the void.