Another ancient Greek legend comes to life, with an interesting twist

Featuring

Dwayne “The Herc” Johnson as Kevin Sorbo
Rufus Sewell as Autolycus, the dagger guy
Ian McShane as Amphiaras, the comic relief guy
Aksel Hennie as Tydeus, the crazy, strong, silent guy
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta, the hot Amazonian archer
Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, the marketing/advertising guy
with John Hurt as Cotyus, King of Thrace
and Irina Shayk as Megara, the wife of Hercules

I‘m going to say it, this movie isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However, it will never get the honour of being better than that pillar of great, campy 1990s television, when Kevin Sorbo had the honour of portraying Hercules on television. I mean, Dwayne Johnson is an awesome action hero, and a much bigger slab of pure muscle, but 2014’s Hercules just isn’t as good.

It’s not that Hercules is a bad movie per se. Concentrating more on the angle that Herc was a mortal man who did a lot of seriously dangerous jobs before becoming a legend, as told by his sidekick Iolaus, the movie leaves it open whether he indeed is the son of Zeus. I actually like this version of his backstory a lot better.

The background to Hercules’ current plight of being a roaming mercenary, is that his wife and children are killed, presumably by himself, forcing him to flee Athenian justice. He runs into Cotys, the King of Thrace, who is fighting a losing war against a warlord bent on conquering his nation. Hercules and his band of mercenaries accept the contract to help Cotys win the war.

Now, there are naturally some twists and turns in the story, most of which are predictable. But, it is an action movie, and that’s not exactly surprising. The action is, for the most part pretty tame, and consists mostly of Hercules swinging his massive manly club (this must be a metaphor for something, I’m sure), while flexing his layers of muscles, as if he was some sort of colossus of the gym. Which, let’s face it, he is.

Funnily enough, the movie is over pretty quickly, and when it happens, you kind of wonder if there was more stuff that was supposed to happen, but the writers kind of just stopped typing and went home for the night. It’s a really short movie, at just on ninety minutes.

The movie is peppered with some light hearted moments, mainly to do with Amphiaras, who can see the future accurately enough to predict his death. Which…well, never happens, even though there are plenty of opportunities. These little bits do break up the solemnity of the story, and gives the audience some good, well timed points of relief from tension.

Was the movie enjoyable? Yes, it was. In fact, it makes a lot more sense than the recent Transformers: Age of WTF, Are Those Dinosaurs?!, which at no point made any attempt to construct a cohesive story. Hercules feels very much like one big budget episode of the television series that aired so many years ago. This is A Good Thing.

Rating

A decently well made action flick featuring another ancient Greek legend. It almost does it justice.

Should I watch this?

If you’re a fan of The Rock, like I am, then this is a movie that will make you reasonably happy.

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