In the new Hercules we have Dwayne Johnson (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Other Guys, Planet 51) playing the latest version of the legendary son of Zeus. A few of my friends said that Dwayne just doesn’t fit this role of a half god, maybe because he’s too well known as a WWE wrestler, maybe because the way he speaks doesn’t sound like what you’d expect from the B.C. ages…or maybe just his acting in general. Whatever it is my friends are right. Dwayne was just no believable as Hercules. The movie would have been better titled ‘Dwayne Johnson being buff and Leading Armies in Ancient Greece’ and that would have suited just fine.
But still I like Dwayne I grew up with him as ‘The Rock’ so I can forgive him for being a knock-off Hercules however I will not forgive the betrayal of leading me to believe that this was going to be a mythical tale of Hercules fighting giant monstrous lions and boars and multi-headed serpents. Instead I find that Hercules is just an ordinary man whose reputation as a Greek legend is nothing but a false rumor. Here’s how it goes;
In the movie Hercules is a mercenary who is followed by fellow warriors, Amphiaraus played by Ian McShane (Death Race, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Case 39), Autolycus played by Rufus Sewell (The Tourist, All Things to All Men, The Holiday), Atalanta played by Ingrid Bolso Bredal (The ABC’s of Death, Wide Blue Yonder, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Tydeus played by Aksel Hennie (Cry in the Woods, Age of Heroes, Headhunters) and Iolaus Hercules’s nephew played by Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones, Prince of Persia: The sands of Time, 10,000 BC). Iolaus spread’s rumors to whoever will listen about Hercules being the son of Zeus with extraordinary abilities to disarm their enemies. Hercules and his team travel taking on muscle jobs like stopping a gang of pirates or ridding a town of a wild boar and wherever they go the rumor is spread so it’s pretty much everywhere.
Our story starts with Rebecca Ferguson (Drowning Ghost, Vi, A One-Way Trip to Antibes) playing Ergenia a princess sent to find Hercules to ask him to help save her father’s land from an evil army that’s been destroying villages. Her father is Lord Cotys played by John Hurt (Alien, The Elephant Man, Only lovers Left Alive) who allows Hercules to train his army so that they may be a match to stop the evil army lead by Rhesus played by Tobias Santelmann (Escape, I Am Yours, In Order of Disappearance).
The movie as a whole is okay. It’s a huge teaser throughout the film making you think that something from ancient Greek mythology is going to pop up at any moment like how everyone thought the evil army was a gang of centaur’s (half human half horse), how Hercules is haunted by Cerberus (three headed demon dog) and you’re made to believe it was the thing that killed his family, and of course Hercules himself! You keep thinking he’s actually going to get some god-like powers and prove that he’s not just a mere mortal. But everything has a logical explanation in the end and in my opinion it takes away from the movie and makes it fall flat. There were a few good war scenes here if you’re into that. Nothing Braveheart worthy but…what is? Oh and prepare yourself…Hercules’s gang has a limitless supply of one-liners some of which are funny; some that…are not. You’ve been warned.
Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a 63% fresh. So…you know it’s not that bad.
Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity.
Personally I was looking forward to all the fight scenes: CGI monsters vs. The Rock! The trailers totally tricked me and that’s never cool. So if you saw the trailers and were expecting what I was expecting; see something else.