"Hercules Could Be Stronger"
In HERCULES, Dwayne Johnson is the mythic legend set to defend the helpless against a ruthless army pillaging the countryside in Ancient Greece. HERCULES has lots of entertaining action, some funny lines and some moral, redemptive elements, but the writing and acting leave something to be desired and the movie’s polytheistic backdrop warrants extreme caution.
Brett Ratner’s HERCULES stars Dwayne Johnson as the mythical Greek hero and demigod Hercules. It twists the mythic legend into a more human tale.
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.
(PaPa, B, C, L, VV, S, NN, AA) Strong pagan worldview with many references to pagan Greek gods, including prayer, prophecy and superstition, but for the most part, the movie avoids anything unexplainable and mythical, with some moral, redemptive elements of warriors fighting and dying for each other and others; eight obscenities (including one “f” word); strong action and battle violence with people dying by sword, arrow, knife, spear and mere force, many dead bodies are seen, scary beasts, decapitated heads are seen in a bad, it’s implied that wolves kill a woman and her children, a man is smashed by a statue; some sexual references are made; brief naturalist upper female nudity as mother puts young baby to bed, brief rear female nudity, and some upper male nudity, a woman warrior shows he midriff, some belly dancers perform at a celebration; moderate alcohol consumption with some brief drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, no other immorality.
HERCULES stars Dwayne Johnson as the mythical Greek demigod Hercules and twists the legend into a more human tale. A young boy narrates the legend of Hercules, the son of Zeus and a human woman, and his rise to be the greatest warrior the world has known. However, most of the legend is just a tall tale. Now, Hercules travels as a mercenary leading a small band of warriors. When the king of Thrace beckons for his services, Hercules agrees to help fight an evil army.
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.