This is one of those times where just because a movie looks dumb, that doesn’t always mean it’s going to be bad.
Hercules is directed by Brett Ratner and is based off the “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” comic book written by Steve Moore. Which it itself is based upon the Greek hero of the same name. This movie follows Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and his band of mercenaries who are hired by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) to help defeat an evil warlord.
Before this movie came out, every single trailer I’ve seen for Hercules looked completely awful. It looked like nobody cared about what they were doing when making the movie and it looked really dumb. It also boiled down to the fact that, I’m not a fan of Brett Ratner’s films. So imaginably, my expectations for this to be a good movie were not very high. However I have to say I was more than surprised by this movie. While I don’t think it’s a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, it is definitely a well-made adventure movie. From the opening of the movie, I was instantly reminded of a movie in the vein of Conan The Barbarian starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The fact that this was based off a comic book definitely helped me embrace the silliness. Dwayne Johnson is good and commands the screen as Hercules, even though it’s weird to hear everyone with a British accent except the main character. Most of the other actors do a good job in their roles, even if some of them don’t feel very important until the end of the movie. The action scenes are pretty good and even the 3D was surprisingly effective.
There are some issues with the movie. A lot of the CG effects looked bad. All of the CG animals looked terrible with the worst being the Lion. It reminded me of the CG wolves from The Twilight Saga series. While thought was put into other parts of the movie, the visual effects team didn’t really seem to care about animating the film’s animals. There wasn’t enough character development for the other members in Hercules’ team. They do get some development a few points in the movie, but they are ultimately defined by whatever skill they have. The only thing you remember about Atalanta is that she’s an incredibly skilled archer and that’s as much development as she gets. The movie also feels the need to remind us that Hercules is a demigod over and over again. However they don’t really take that trait to it’s full potential. It’s the reason why I was reminded of Conan The Barbarian a lot of the time. Most of the time I feel like I’m watching a Conan movie and not a Hercules movie until somebody reminds us that he’s the son of a god. The plot is also not that special and I’ve seen it in other movies. While a simple and reused plot is never a bad thing in my opinion, it was pretty easy to see how the movie is going to play out. This results in a heavy lack of surprises that would make the movie more engaging. Another element that probably would’ve made the movie better is if they pushed it to the rated R level. It’s a mostly bloodless movie and making it more violent might have made the film more enjoyable.
In the end though [Hercules](movie:365390) was a big surprise. Not a great movie, but it’s still a very entertaining movie with great cinematography and really cool production design. It moves at a quick pace and never seems to drag out. It is very silly Conan The Barbarian/300 type movie (minus the blood and nudity), so if you go into this movie knowing that, then I’m pretty sure that you will have some fun with Hercules.