Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: After a disappointing start, this is a movie that is both entertaining enough and engaging enough to watch from the comfort of your own home.
Let’s get something straight right off the bat. This movie is not about Hercules the Greek mythological being. Wait, that’s not quite true. This movie is about a man named Hercules who is both big and powerful and creates the myth of Hercules the Greek mythological being to help him and his crew of mercenaries land paying gigs. After some initial disappointment of not seeing a movie based on Hercules’ twelve labors, I found that I liked what they did to spin Hercules’ myth around an all too human, if impossibly large, man. Keep this all in mind if you plan to see the movie.
With that out of the way, what you have in “Hercules” is basically a better than average Dungeons & Dragons campaign. You’ve got a rag-tag group of adventurers including a fighter, an archer, a barbarian, a thief, and a mystic who go on various quests for both gold and glory. After completing a side quest, they are engaged in their main quest to save a village from an evil usurper intent on taking over a peaceful kingdom. There are plot twists and betrayals and even some tying in character’s back-stories into the main plot. Now I want to play D&D.
The humor in the movie is decent if a little over-acted at times. The movie is also surprisingly endearing. Hercules develops his mercenary followers by both helping them and treating them kindly and this is revealed throughout the movie. How they do this is pretty cool. The movie starts with a quick retelling of many of Hercules’ labors as the myths describe them. Then, throughout the movie, you see the interactions between Hercules and his companions and get to know a little bit of how they came to follow him. Finally, in the end credits, you are treated to a comic book retelling of Hercules’ labors showing how his friends actually helped him complete each of the labors.
“Hercules” is a fun if forgettable movie. I don’t think I’d recommend seeing it in the theater unless you want to get your D&D friends together and geek out to it or if you just really like Dwayne Johnson.