The last time I saw Dwayne Johnson in a movie, he cried. Thats right, the friggin Rock cried. It was almost blasphemous. Needless to say, I didn’t like that film nor did I have any kind words about it to friends. The Rock is one of those actors who belongs in action movies as much as bullets and explosions. While I can’t say that his acting chops are completely useless, he definitively knows how to wield some sort of ass kicking implement and flex intimately for an audience. He’s one of the few go to actors in current films who can keep up with the likes of Chuck Norris or Sylvestor Stallone. Needless to say I was excited to see him fulfill his destiny and show us all what a real Hercules could be like.
A few months ago, this year, we were introduced to another version of a Herculean tale. If your curious you can find my review somewhere on this website. However, you’ll quickly learn that I didn’t like it. While the Legend of Hercules was another retelling of the same Herculean story, the Rock’s version puts a very necessary twist on the legends we have all heard before. Seemingly keeping with the trend of giving old stories, new inspiration. This story actually works. It fits the bill and adds just enough new to the classic old.
Most know something about Hercules’ story. His origination, his labors, even his life are all stories worth passing around the mythical water cooler. However, the coolest thing to me is this film finally talks about the power of legend, and the ability of great stories, while being shared from man to man, have the ability to grow and inspire. Slowly, they become myths, legends, and lore that people can stand behind and use to strengthen them. In all of Hercules’ stories he’s made out to be godlike and able to do things that other’s can’t. I found it very interesting to see how the writers were able to show how extraordinary tasks can be done by ordinary men. Either way there was a lot of ass kickery and amazing special effects that, in the end, produced a pretty fun 2 hours.
Thankfully, this movie didn’t really try to do anything different besides find a way to tell a great story in a new and interesting way. No artsy colors, flashy actors, or crazy plot twists. Because of this, I don’t think this film is going to blow people away, but it does fit the gap for those looking for a fun, exciting action flick. All of the characters are great. I’ve always felt that The Rock, as a person, never took his celebrity too serious and makes a very traditional looking Herculean figure as well. Not to mention I loved seeing Rufus Sewell as a good guy this time as well as Aksel Hennie who plays Tydeus. The scenery also doesn’t hurt.
All and all I really enjoyed this film and found it to be the better of the two Herculean films this year. I think most people will agree with me. Its just a good, solid film perfect for any movie night. This is going to be one of those movies people will want to watch every time it comes on. Go, watch it, and learn how to make your own legends.
I give Hercules 4 Heroic Labors out of 5.
By Jason Burleson