Hercules Could Be Stronger
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Genre: Action Adventure
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Brett Ratner
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman, and Philippe Dauman, CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO, and Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Film Group
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Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000; Website: www.paramount.com
The movie begins with his legend being told. Born the son of the Greek god Zeus and a human woman, Hercules is feared by all, but the gods look unfavorably upon the demigod. As he grows, they decree his strength must be tested by battling the greatest beasts. As legend has it, Hercules conquered each of “twelve labors” put before him and became the greatest, most fearsome warrior the world has ever seen.
Now, Hercules travels with his small band of fellow warriors, fighting as mercenaries to whoever will pay and living up to the heroic tales most people believe to be true. What the people don’t know, however, is that the tales are merely stories, conjured up and exaggerated to help spread fear of Hercules and his name.
The king of Thrace and his beautiful daughter summon Hercules to help defend their kingdom from a ruthless army supposedly pillaging villages and killing men, women and children. With promise of payment, Hercules agrees to train Thrace’s weak army into a deadly force.
Hercules is haunted by a past involving a dead wife and three children, who were murdered by an unknown assailant. The mission for which he is being rewarded and the circumstances surrounding it become more and more mysterious and unclear.
HERCULES has three things going for it, a unique take on the mythical tale, some campy humor that works in its favor and entertaining action. Otherwise, this movie is a big miss. Instead of focusing on the fantastic mythology surrounding Hercules and the great beasts he defeats, this version avoids the unexplainable for the most part. Yet, it still shows the pagan Greek religions as a backdrop embedded in Greek culture. The movie has some moments of redemption where Hercules and his men (and a woman) fight for the innocent and are willing to lay down their lives for each other and other people. In the end, however, it has a ridiculous message that states, “If you believe you are a hero, then you are.” Dwayne Johnson brings little to the legend other than his massive physic. Also, the writing is, for the most part, canned and unimaginative.
Thankfully, the violence is more action-oriented than titillating, but the movie’s pagan worldview and some brief foul language still warrant extreme caution.
HERCULES has three things going for it: a unique take on the mythical tale, some campy humor that works in its favor and entertaining action. Otherwise, HERCULES is a big miss. Instead of focusing on the fantast mythology surrounding Hercules and the great beasts he defeats, this version avoids the unexplainable for the most part. The story has some moments of redemption where Hercules and his men fight for the innocent and lay down their lives for others. Though the violence is action oriented, the pagan worldview of HERCULES and brief foul language warrant extreme caution.