Filed under: Movie Reviews | Tags: Dwayne Johnson, Hercules, Ian McShane, John Hurt, King of Thrace, Radical, Rebecca Ferguson, Steve Moore
Hitting the cinemas recently was Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and based on the Steve Moore comic ‘Hercules: The Thracian Wars’ released through Radical Publishing back in 2008. A damn good read so I was hoping the conversion to the big screen would be equally good.
This could well disappear among the many other throwaway releases of a similar type where the likes of 300 have already explored the epic battles of ancient Greece and we’ve seen all manners of mythological movies appear and be rebooted over the years but Hercules takes that myths & legend tagline that these types of stories inevitably get and works with it. Emphasizing the fact that stories can become bigger and more unbelievable as word of mouth adds it’s own embelished elements……making the stories so far-fetched…..they must be true.
While Hercules IS a larger than life character with a strength to match – he’s mortal, he’s suffered loss and with his band of warriors around him as his adopted family……he’s a mercenary for hire……think 300 meets the A-Team…..kind of :). His latest employer is the King of Thrace (John Hurt) who’s plea for help with the aid of his daughter Ergenia, played by Rebecca Ferguson, brings the King’s army the skills and training from Hercules and his group of mercenaries. The promise of his weight in gold and the chance to leave his life as a sword-for-hire seems too good to be true and the first half of the movie keeps a steady pace as we get through this part of the movie with a fairly common mix of cliches and battles.
While the first half sticks to a fairly standard run of the mill plot with typical set pieces and post-battle musings……the second half is much better as the real motives of the King become apparent and the wider plot of betrayal’s and murder seep into the film. This is where the star & supporting cast work well and offer us much more from their characters as the action continues and the plot thickens. The movie is fun & was never going to take itself too seriously and if you do the same & accept that before seeing it, then you’ll get a kick out of a different take on the Hercules story you already know.
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