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Monday, August 18, 2014

Movie Review - Hercules

Hercules  $$$


98 Minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, and Rufus Sewell.
Director: Brett Ratner.

            The previews promised an action-packed retelling of the 12 labors of Hercules, including wrestling with Nemean Lion and a clubbing of the Erymanthian Boar. Combine that with the charm that Dwayne Johnson brings to the big screen and I found myself excited to see this movie.
            Unfortunately, that is not what I got. What I had thought were scenes from within the body of the film were actually packed at the beginning as part of a narrator’s telling of the Herculean labors of fame. I made the mistake of grabbing a drink of water and missed half of them. I felt cheated when I discovered that the scenes in the trailer were nothing more than a compacted history of Hercules and not part of the actual story being told in the film. Had I known that I would have been a little more hesitant about going.
            As it turns out the actual story involves a mortal named Hercules who is quite strong. The legends of the demigod are merely the fabrications of men. Okay, that is a cool concept, but unfortunately rather than base the plot on that it too is used as background for a rather average story about a group of mercenaries who are tricked into helping an evil ruler to become king.

            Here is how I ranked the film: 

1. Fun – If you like cheesy fantasy movies, and I do, then this should entertain you. The characters are interesting and I liked the basic concept. However, all the really cool stuff is jammed into the introduction.
            Hercules gets Half a MB for fun.
            2. Story – The concept is original, but the execution of that story is very mundane. It felt as if they lifted the plot from any number of B movies about strong-armed, dim-witted, sword-wielding heroes.
            Hercules gets Half a MB for fun.

            3. Technical – The cinematography and the special effects are on par with any of the big Hollywood productions. However, the directing seemed uninspired and this is where I ding the movie for putting together a movie trailer that I felt mislead me about what I could expect.
Hercules gets a HALF a MB for industry standard technical effects.

             4. Acting – I love Dwayne Johnson when he is charming. His serious acting is less of an attraction to me because he is less of an actor and more of a charismatic personality. In Hercules he attempts for some serious acting with a little bit of charm to go with it. I think it fails. The good news is that Ian McShane is outstanding in his role as the seer, Amphiarius. John Hurt and Rufus Sewell also turn in note-worthy performances.
            Hercules gets a Full MB for acting even though The Rock could have don better.
            Hercules gets a rating of 2 ½ Movie Bucks. This definitely felt like a discount theater movie. Even though it has a 2 ½ rating I still suggest waiting for it as a rental.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


  1. I had heard that about the beginning. What a ripoff!

    1. That's what I felt too. I may have enjoyed the film a little bit more if I'd known that going into it.

  2. That's very disappointing. Would have been much better if they'd just told the myth.

    Moody Writing

    1. I agree. However, the idea of Hercules being just a very strong mortal is a great idea and could have made for a really interesting movie. They should have had me write it and it would have been so much better. LOL.