#FamilyMovieNight this week was Disney’s Hercules.

I remember feeling “meh” about the film back in the day, and that hasn’t really changed. The performances are all… competent, the songs are forgettable, and the complete revision of the Hercules myth into a Teen Disney Misfit™ is still hard for me to swallow. Sure, James Woods’ performance as Hades is great, but who the hell (hehe) wants to say nice things about Woods these days?

Mostly, I feel like there was an opportunity here to do something interesting with Hercules as a Disney prince — a powerful hero who learns how to not be a dick, say — and they chose the easy route — the Greek mermaid — instead.

I also finally realized how much they crib from Superman, especially Donner’s take. Baby falls from the heavens and is adopted by a humble farm couple, grows into the awkward teenager who just wants to play sports like his peers do, talks to his real alien father via a statue in the Temple of Solitude, eventually becomes a powerful hero who falls in love with a street-smart brunette, battles an evil bald mastermind, and then brings his lady love back from the dead.

My son seemed kind of bored by the film. He liked bits of the slapstick, but both Hades in general and the hydra scene, specifically, were too scary for him; we fast-forwarded through most of those bits.

So, yeah, I get why Disney is happy to let this one sit on Netflix.


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