A Well Achieved Humanist Adventure Film | Review of ‘Hercules’

By: Cynthia Ayala

Dwayne Johnson continues to amaze with his acting abilities, bringing life and honor to the name of Hercules.  This movie have been action packed, but that wasn’t the central point of the film as it brought the legend down to Earth making it fun and believable.

080214_0729_AWellAchiev1.jpgDirected by: Brett Ratner

Screenplay by: Ryan J. Condal & Evan Spiliotopoulos

Based on Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore & Admira Wijaya

Starring: Dwayne JohnsonIan McShaneRufus Sewell, Aksel HennieIngrid Bolsø BerdalReece Ritchie, Tobias Santelmann & Joseph Fiennes

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Hercules, the son of Zeus and a human woman, is haunted by his tragic past. Now, he fights only for gold as a traveling mercenary, accompanied by a band of loyal followers, including Amphiarus and Autolycus. However, when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek his help in defeating a savage warlord, Hercules must find the true hero within himself once again.

Now this was a movie that should have been #1 opening weekend…at least. Dwayne Johnson continues to impress with his ability to act and take on roles such as these. But it’s not the acting that made this movie stand out, it’s not even the action. It’s the story. Everyone knows at least a little of Greek Mythology, and everyone knows the name Hercules at the very least. But the human element in the story is what sets it apart and what makes it so strong and captivating for audiences. The mythological and the monsters are taken out the film and given human elements, and that doesn’t tarnish the story that is Hercules, it doesn’t tarnish the myths and the legends but instead connect to the roots of the stories to bring to life this film on a very human level.

Following his twelve labors and the death of his family, Hercules is roaming the world with his team of fellow heroes in Greek mythology that all have fundamental roles. The film takes a focus on character development, on story development while staying true to Greek mythology on the surface, taking those elements to create an amazing story. Following Hercules who has taken on the role of mercenary, we see him as this man, not the son of a god, as a man with incredible strength that is able to take on the role of hero, growing as a character. And this movie is in no means just an action film. Yes, it has action in it to propel the story forward, but the important part is that it is character oriented as well.

Hercules was a pleasant surprise as far as movies go. This movie did not tarnish Greek Mythology but rather gave it that strong humanistic quality, taking away most of the mystery and magic while still keeping it entertaining. Dwayne Johnson continues to impress with his acting talent, and as Hercules, he was remarkable. ★★ ½ ( out of 4 ‘s | B+)

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