Tagline: Before he was a legend, he has a man.
Year: 2014 Runtime: 89 min
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ryan Condall (screenplay) & Evan Spiliotopoulos (screenplay)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
Synopsis (from the official website):
“Both man and myth, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) leads a band of mercenaries to help end a bloody civil war in the land of Thrace and return the rightful king to his throne. A tormented soul from birth, Hercules has the strength of a God but feels the suffering of a human.”
“Before he was a legend, he was a man.”
Uhm, no. He was, is, and always will be a fictional character. Thanks for fucking that up. Twice in one Summer Hollywood has managed to completely miss the mark with something that should have been a slam dunk (see Godzilla). SO glad to paid $15 to see a regular dude do some regular dude stuff.
Why in the hell would someone do this? My first thought—and I’m sure this is still partially the case considering Peter Berg was a driving force behind this—“Some dumb ass producer thinks he’s creating something clever.” But that wasn’t the case. My research turned up the root cause, i.e. Steve Moore, the writer of Radical Comics Hercules The Thracian Wars, which this movie is based on. The answer is in an interview where Steve says: “I think it basically comes down to the fact that I wanted, as much as possible, to treat Hercules as a real person, rather than some sort of superhero, which is a genre I detest and which, fortunately, I’ve always managed to avoid writing.”
In other words it’s like Tim Burton, who would “never read a comic book” making a Batman movie.
Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
Even when I tried to be generous, looking beyond the bait and switch, which was a Herculean labor in itself, the “heroic journey” the movie portrays isn’t all that heroic. Yeah, Hercules kicks ass, but I don’t really care about him, much less his band of merry men (and woman) who perpetuate the lie. The one thing that would make him more sympathetic, his wife and children, are glossed over. Honestly, after the fist five minutes I was ready for the movie to end.
This movie fails on all levels. Don’t bother watching it, even if it’s free. You’ve got better this to do with you life, like grow throbbing hemorrhoids from sitting on the toilet too long. I’m sad to write that because I like Dwayne Johnson a lot, but Hercules is a sun-bleached log of shit that needs disposing. The sooner it’s out of sight the sooner we can forget it ever happened. I was really hoping this would be something big for Johnson to hang his hat on, like Schwarzenegger’s Conan. Something iconic. Nope.
Sigh. Maybe next time, Rock.