By Tony Pinto
Most people know the story of Hercules, but if you don’t that’s fine because the movie “Hercules” tells a vastly different story than the one typically told. In this version, Hercules is a mortal man.
In the traditional story, Hercules is the son of Zeus. The god Zeus has a relationship with a mortal woman, who was his wife, making Hercules only half a god. The wife of Zeus wants Hercules dead, so she sends him on 12 journeys. Somehow Hercules completes them all, and the legend is born.
There are other Hercules movies that convey that story. But in this this version, the legendary stories are told as wives tales to help spread the aura of Hercules. There is no god named Hercules. There is only the mercenary named Hercules in this film.
He is a mercenary out for gold and to find peace from his past demons. Getting gold is the easy part, finding peace doesn’t come easy. We see glimpses into his past, which was a happier time.
Hercules, played by former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, brings along his crew of soldiers to help him throughout his journeys. The storyteller, Lolaus (Reece Ritchie) keeps the so-called legend of Hercules alive. Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Autolycus (Rufus Sewell) and Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) will stay with Hercules no matter what.
Dwayne Johnson looks like a Greek god. He endured eight months of training for this film and it shows. He’s always in good shape, but in “Hercules” he brings it to another level. Who wouldn’t want to hire this man to save their kingdom?
Acting may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to Johnson, but he is much more than a muscle-bound guy. The emotions that he brings to “Hercules” dealing with the demons of his past bring much-needed depth to this movie.
There are not many flaws in “Hercules,” but at times seems one-dimensional. The focus is on Hercules, but other the other characters should have been more sufficiently explored. That shortcoming places too much weight on Hercules to carry the movie, which is unnecessary because when given the brief chance to shine, the other characters excel.
For some, “Hercules” may lack a sufficient storyline because the battle scenes are make up a big chunk of the film. Sometimes the story doesn’t always make sense, but don’t let that stop you. “Hercules” is a quality move that has something for most of the family. It may not be a must see, but it’s certainly a movie worth checking out.
Tony Pinto’s grade: A-.