Hercules and Atlantis–part 2

Now for Atlantis:

So, meet Milo Thatch, our protagonist. Basically, he’s like Hercules only a geek and not buff.

But he’s also not awkward. Milo is just that right balance of socially out of it and decent, polite person, also pretty lonely since his Grandpa died.

Milo has spent his life trying to find out where the lost continent of Atlantis is, and has finally figured out where the Shepherd’s journal, the key to finding it is, but everyone has decided he’s a fool and won’t give him the chance.

Thankfully, the movie spend only about ten minutes on this boring and over sued plot, and we turn to the far more interesting discovery, that the journal was already found by Milo’s grandfather and that his lifelong friend Mr. Whitmore has just been waiting for the right time to send Milo off to discover Atlantis, with the same crack team that found the journal.

People have said the movie is boring, I say, what movie did you watch? Huge machines that can sink the most fortified submarine ever; a cook who things beans, bacon, whiskey, and lard are the four food groups; and a giant worm. Not to mention one of the scariest and most apathetic villains Disney features to date. (I thought he was scary.) My guess is that the main complaint would be the lack of character arcs, to which I say pfft!

Our cast of characters is memorable, cool, and hilarious. Each different and each will remind you of someone you know, probably. Milo is us, pretty much. And Then there’s Audrey, the  mechanical genius who’s also the youngest person abroad, in her teens; Sweet, the kind-hearted doctor who’s also super funny; Mole, the…mole (digger), and also the person who hates soap; Lenny, the slightly nutty explosives expert; and the old lady whose name I have never remembered but she’s classic grumpy grandma with a good heart; and of course Cookie, the cook.

The movie also features the unusual and sad character of Helga, or Lieutenant, as she’s called most of the time. Helga seems to be the typical tough girl, efficient and non-emotional, and she is– but there’s a little hint that she might have been more. After they find Atlantis (I told you, spoilers, but if you’ve seen commercials, you knew that already,) she tells Rourke aside “There were not supposed to be people down here, this changes everything.” To which Rourke replies coldly “This changes nothing.”

What everything? Well later we find out that ?Milo was the only one who did not know that the purpose of the mission was to steal the power source from the people. He originally wanted to find it, yes, but once he knew there were people there, that thought went out of his mind. He never dreamed anyone would still do that.

It seems Helga had second thoughts, very briefly, and never again does she seem to waver, perhaps she figures she doesn’t know these people and no one will ever find out they even existed. It’s still cold-hearted, but we’re left wishing she had chosen differently, and in the end, she does play an important part in saving the Princess, though it’s in revenge and she dies afterward.

But versus the heartless Rourke, she’s a more sympathetic character, and that’s, in my opinion, the brilliance of the movie. Like with Megara, all our heroes are flawed, (except Milo,) they’ve all done things that, as Lenny says “We ain’t proud of.” But wiping out an entire civilization proves to be more than they can live with, at least after Milo makes an impressive and short speech about it. I don’t think that takes away from it, we all need to be kicked in the pants every now and then before we’ll do the right thing.

We all know that they are not perhaps, role models, most of them were pretty mean to Milo at first, and they turned on him for a while; but in the end they knew he was right and risked their lives to undo the damage they had done.

They still got rich.

And you could say that was lame, but I think it’s fine. They didn’t know beforehand that that would happen, and call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think it’s lame to be rewarded for doing the right thing, it’s just not a requirement in every circumstance.

The verdict:

I find Atlantis very entertaining, and in a kid friendly way, without a lot of gore or on the line humor. Plus, though it hasn’t the deepest message, it has a good one. It’s an adventure and exploration movie, and it was wise to keep it that way and not change the tone with a lot of unnecessary drama or moral dilemma that had nothing to do with the main plot.

Hercules is the opposite in that way because the side plot turns into the main plot in an almost unforeseen way, and it is deep.

Milo does the right thing partly for Kida, his love interest, but mostly because it is the right thing, and who else is going to do it. There’s also a theme of doing the right thing even when it seems like it’s not the smart thing, and how much his grandfather influenced him. Also, don’t be a mercenary, and take that Flynn Rider, (and to an extent Kristoff, I love you guys, but really, you couldn’t help the girl just because it was the right thing–and she’s hot, of course, because they always are.)

Why hate on either of these movies? They weren’t claiming to be cinematic masterpieces. They are exactly what they seem. Atlantis is a cool and classy film with eccentric characters and mysterious forces; Hercules is  zany spin on old myths with a heartwarming message.

Both are making their point pretty darn well in my mind. That’s all for now–Natasha.

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