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'Hercules' Is An OK Movie, Just Not One For The Ages … Or Is It?

It’s been just about 24 hours since I finished watching a premiere screening of “Hercules” and I still can’t decide whether I liked it or not.

What I can tell you are the following:

  • There’s nothing to love about it, but there’s nothing to hate about it.

  • I didn’t find it nearly as funny as some of the people I was in the theater with.

  • Despite my confused feelings over it, I won’t be rushing out to see it again or counting down the days until I can watch it at home to try to clear up those feelings.

  • It’s perfect for THIS summer: fast-paced, likeable star, known director, little to no competition (in terms of box office draw and critical acclaim).

Dwayne Johnson is Hercules in “Hercules,” from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures. (c) 2014 Paramount Pictures Corporation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

In this telling of the story Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is either the mighty son of Zeus or the leader of a ragtag group of mercenary misfits that travels the globe working for the highest bidder. It depends on who you ask.

Looking for one more job before giving up the hero business for good, Hercules and company are recruited by Cotys, the king of Thrace (John Hurt) and his daughter to train the Thrace Army, which consists of little more than farmers and merchants to take on the evil forces threatening Thrace.

There’s slightly more to it than that, but much more detail would give away the story as it’s pretty thin.

But that’s kind of the point: “Hercules” isn’t meant to make you think about the plot or the mythology or history behind the character. It’s meant to show off how big and strong Johnson is, that director Brett Ratner still knows how to lead an action sequence and that sometimes you don’t need much more than that to have fun at the movies.

In terms of cast, there’s really only person worth talking about: The Rock or Dwayne Johnson or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or whatever he’s calling himself these days.

I still stand by the fact that he’s a much better wrestler than actor, but as always he comes off as likeable, fun and moderately funny, which is more than you can say for most action stars these days.

The action scenes are over-the-top and at times ridiculously long, but they need to be – the film comes in at just over 90 minutes and there isn’t a ton of dialogue or backstory.

After writing this, I’m still not sure where I stand on “Hercules,” but I will say that in a summer that has lacked action-packed, kick back with your popcorn and enjoy the ride movies, this one comes fits the bill … even if it does it in a less-than-convincing sort of way.

★★★ of ★★★★★

© 2020 by Man Versus Movie

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