“Are you only the legend, or are you truth behind the legend?”
Hercules was one of those rare cases where I was glad the film was nothing like the trailer was portraying it as. From the trailers I was expecting yet another Clash of the Titans sort of fiasco, but I was pleasantly surprised the film took an entirely different approach. Instead of portraying the Greek mythology as something completely accepted in this world, it actually is just a myth that some have more trouble than others in believing.
Hercules is one of those silly action films that rarely work for me. I tend to find these sort of action packed movies where there is very little character development dull and boring. Surprisingly however, the action sequences looked impressive and somehow I was engaged by the characters. For the first two thirds of this 90 minute film I was on board with the breezy and light hearted action, but unfortunately the final act included an uninspired twist that didn’t work for me. I felt like the film rushed to the conclusion and tied things up too neatly. Hercules has many flaws and lacks depth but it makes up for all of this with some slick visuals, engaging action sequences, and an impressive lead performance from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Brett Ratner won a lot of enemies when he ruined the X-Men franchise for many fanboys, but he has also made some entertaining and decent films like Red Dragon and the first Rush Hour. Hercules may not be a great film, but it was much better than I anticipated and I had a decent time with it despite being predictable and pretty straightforward.
Perhaps the best thing going for Hercules is the lead performance from The Rock who completely drives this film and engages us with the title character. He is an action star with a lot of charisma who happens to sell the funny moments as well. Ian McShane also deserves his share of credit for the comedic moments of this film. He is great in his secondary role as one of Hercules’s sidekicks who also seems to have the ability of foreseeing his own death. Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, and Reece Ritchie each deliver as part of Hercules’s faithful companions and despite not having any depth to them whatsoever I still managed to care for each one of them. The greatest weakness of the film might be the lack of a strong villain and a somewhat unbelievable twist. All in all, Hercules is decent enough to give a mild recommendation from my part.