Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ film HERCULES, starring Dwayne Johnson, bows on July 25th. Based on Radical Comics’ Hercules by Steve Moore, this ensemble-action film is a revisionist take on the classic myth, HERCULES. The epic action film also stars Golden Globe Winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and Academy Award nominee John Hurt
A fairly entertaining movie but Hercules as most people know the story it is not. The movie blurb above from Paramount is at least fairly honest in calling it a “revisionist take”. Most other commercial texts talk about the legendary twelve labors and in general makes you think that Hercules is … well Hercules. Do not be fooled. Most of this movie goes to some length to portray Hercules as a normal man, unusually strong for sure but certainly no demigod, that have created the myth surrounding him himself with the help of his friends. If you are into Greek mythology and do not like it messed with this movie is not for you. It is a classical Hollywood rewrite focusing on action with little respect for anything else.
Having said that, it is not the total disaster as is normally the result when Hollywood makes “their take” on something classical. Hercules and his team are a fairly charming bunch of hard hitting rascals. The revised story is not really all that bad. Simple and predictable of course, it is a Hollywood action movie after all, but it works fairly well.
The movie is an action movie so naturally the main reward of this movie are the action scenes which are fairly good. Over the top, unbelievable and devoid of any form of actual military strategy of course but still quite entertaining. Whoever wrote the scenes having Hercules and his friends running around in the middle of huge battles without much in terms of protection while the rest of the army huddled down in this famous shield wall formation is no genius, military or otherwise, that has to be said. Well, at least it got Hercules some head bashing moments.
If you are a fan of action movies and are prepared to put your brain in park and just enjoy the show this is a rather entertaining movie. At least this is my take on it. Some of the scenery is quite beautiful, even slightly breathtaking. It never really feels slow and the acting is on a level suitable for the movie. A slightly above average Hollywood “rewrite” I would say.