Hercules: Man or Myth?

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Hercules. Maybe the title of this should be #sorryKellanLutz but that would be teetering off the high road. As far as sword-and-sandal flicks go, the Dwayne Johnson version was as fun as two hours at Mt. Olympus…the theme park of course. However, even with all my love for any movies with The Rock, you’re probably not going to have this in a cache of movies you’ll watch over and over. And by that I mean once in your lifetime will probably suffice. The movie promises a fun ride, and on that it delivers.

Hercules starts out with the myths we’ve come to know and love him for–the twelve labors. Unfortunately, the action in the trailer is bookended at the beginning and the end of the movie with some almost questionable bits thrown in between.

His nephew plays a prominent role, but as a sorry excuse for a human being who likes to mooch off his uncle’s fame to get girls. Without giving anything away, props to Rufus Sewell for being barely recognizable since I’ve seen him last, in A Knight’s Tale and as the prototype of every British villain in a movie. It’s good he finally gets to be good.

Obligatory hero-worship perfumed the first part of the film . A half hour in, I found myself thinking “All right, how many times do we need to start a sentence with Hercules’ name, then retell the 12 labors and anything else we’ve heard about him?” Next, please.

I appreciated the back story because it makes sense even if it’s not quite true to the Greek myths. The mystery there was nice. With The Rock attached, action definitely ruled this movie and the plot was…passable. It wasn’t too difficult, but due to that it seemed like more should be happening when fight scenes weren’t on-screen. The movie also has story a la Gladiator in the mix with the story of a king’s daughter and her son and the twist was kind of predictable.

Hercules apparently has a nephew, who is a sorry excuse for a human being and likes to mooch off his uncle’s legend to get girls. I was pleasantly surprised to see an Amazon woman in Hercules’ crew. Definitely refreshing.

Of course, we had to get in some obligatory hero-worship as well. A half hour into the movie, I was thinking “All right, how many times do we need to start a sentence with Hercules’ name, then retell the twelve labors and anything else we’ve heard about him?” Next, please.

I do wish that the movie incorporated more mystical elements. The CGI was good, I liked the score, and everyone gave nod-worthy performances. Ultimately, the movie did what it was supposed to do–keep me entertained for a couple of hours by watching The Rock tear up some stuff.

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