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'Hercules' comes in strong and crushes expectations



In Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest film, “Hercules,” which roared into theaters yesterday, July 25, 2014, he seems to have completed his transformation from a fit wrestler into an inconceivably jacked demi-god. Johnson dominates the screen as the titular Hercules, bearing a massive club, chiseled armor and a coat made out of a lion’s hide.

Dwayne Johnson makes for a powerful demigod in 'Hercules'
Photo by Christopher Polk

The new imagining of Hercules, which comes from a Radical Comics comic, imagines Hercules as a heroic figure who fights with five fierce companions. The group work as a group of unbelievably skilled mercenaries who take gold for jobs.

As they fight their way to fame and fortune, the group gains the attention of the King of Thrace and they are hired to lead the Thracian army to war. Hercules and his companions train the army and fearlessly lead them into battle. The battle scenes are epic, and, a little over-the-top, but considering the nature of the movie and the fact that the storyline revolves around a man who walks around with half of a lion draped on his shoulders, it’s understandable and acceptable.

However, the movie is careful never to go too far over the top, and it keeps the dialogue fresh and amusing to keep audiences from rolling their eyes at the absurdity of the situations. Viewers watch as Hercules is forced to spend his days fighting powerful enemies on the battlefield and his nights battling inner demons.

Hercules’ internal struggle isn’t quite as well described as it could be, and his companions could use stronger backstories to make it a bit easier for the viewers to get invested in them as characters, but the film has such a short runtime (98 minutes) that it doesn’t really detract from the overall quality of the movie.

The movie takes advantage of its short runtime to keep the action scenes powerful, yet condensed, so the audience never gets bored. With a careful mix of humor, action and a little bit of over-the-top dialogue, “Hercules” makes for an enjoyable and entertaining action movie that is everything moviegoers would want, or expect from the live-action, more realistic portrayal of the famous demigod.

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