Anthony's Film Review

Hercules (2014)

Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson is typical action, but still fun...

Just as action star Arnold Schwarzenegger played the muscular warrior Conan in the 1980s, action star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson played the muscular warrior Hercules in 2014. It's the kind of role that is suited for big buff actors. And when you have that kind of character in a movie, all you really want is a cool action movie. Nothing mentally or emotionally sophisticated. Just a little more than 90 minutes of fun eye-popping action.

This movie is based directly on a graphic novel, but the familiar Greek mythology elements surrounding Hercules are still there. Hercules is a half-god half-mortal, the offspring of the god Zeus and a mortal woman whom Zeus had an affair with. Zeus's wife Hera wants to kill Hercules, as he is an illegitimate child. To convince Hera to leave him in peace, Hercules proves himself on dangerous quests involving fights with monsters such as the Hydra and the Erymanthian Boar. As the story begins, Hercules has become a legend through these quests, better known as the 12 Labors.

This story element will return late in the film. Meanwhile, Hercules is summoned by a king to help defend his people against a warlord named Rhesus. A foe that is said to be a Centaur (half man, half horse), Rhesus and his forces destroy villages across the land. It is up to Hercules to train ordinary farmers to become warriors. To help him, Hercules has some allies, including Iolaus, Autolycus, and the woman warrior Atalanta.

The movie is essentially a story told in three acts, each including several minutes of dramatic dialogue followed by several minutes of intense action. The drama in the third act is notable in that it presents a surprising revelation, which actually isn't all too surprising because it's something that you might see in other stories. Still, it prevents the movie from being 100% dull. And when it's all over, the movie wraps itself up quickly. Not so quickly that it's unfinished, but enough to provide a basic resolution to the story.

As you may expect, this is not a movie to take seriously at all. It's not intended to be an epic masterpiece about a well-known figure in Greek mythology. Its only purpose is to have fun with its characters, plot, and action. If you really want a sign that this movie is just silly fun, consider the scene where Hercules defeats an enemy and actually says, "F*****g Centaurs." That pretty much illustrates it. Really, Hercules is an average action movie that manages to be sufficiently fun for a little more than one-and-a-half hours, and Dwayne Johnson pulls off his role well enough.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Hercules, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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