Hercules Movie Review
With the success of Game of Thrones, Hollywood executives got confused and thought audiences still wanted cheesy, 1980's era sword-and-saddles action movies. Even after the epic failure that was the Conan the Barabrian reboot, they still didn't get it. So now there's Hercules, which is as dumb as you'd expect but not nearly as bad as you’ve heard.
Dwayne Johnson stars as the title character, and if anyone was born to play Hercules, it's Arnold. Er, and Dwayne Johnson. He charms his way through the movie well enough, even if it is marred by an overly hammy screenplay and largely generic action that is to be expected in any movie directed by Brett Ratner.
Hercules suffers from underdeveloped characters and plenty of steroid-laced cliches that were supposed to be retired long ago. Hercules spends most of his time shouting cheesy motivational battle speeches and smarting one-liners, while his comrades are the annoyingly typical macho swords-for-hire who spout macho things because that’s what they do. Ian McShane continues to find the most embarrassing roles available; his agent should be fired immediately.
The action is unremarkable, but there is a lot of it. For some, maybe you, that’s enough. Hercules doesn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on thought or plot, though the story is more complicated than you might think--not necessarily good, but at least the screenwriters tried. That leaves room for plenty of punching, sword fighting and shouting one-liners, some of it better than others.
For as bad as Hercules looks and what the majority of critics say, the movie, in spite of its best effort, does maintain a certain fun factor. Yes, the dialogue is cheesy, but at least it’s intentional for the most part. Yes, the action is repetitive, but there is plenty of it. And yes, similar stories have been done better, but similar stories have also been done much, much worse.
Hercules is what it is. The movie is 20 or 30 years too late, but go in with low expectations and a willingness to have fun with cheesy, B-grade action and you might just enjoy Dwayne Johnson and his muscles-on-muscles.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.