Hercules (2014) Poster

(I) (2014)

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Surprisingly good
zaphodalive31 October 2014
A lot of people went into this movie with expectations that this would follow the mythology, and I think that's what let them down. However, as an artistic representation of not only the myths, but a possible truth behind the myths, this was an entertaining watch.

I'm only vaguely familiarly with the mythology, but I know enough to know the way it was represented. This film represents that mythology in a different way - more genuinely believable, and less fantastic - but blends the original mythos in in a way I found very interesting. A lot can be forgiven for an intelligent, new look at an old story, and I don't think this film needs to be forgiven very much at all.

The story was fairly well rounded with a some light/moderate complexity to it which was nice, and it was much less far-fetched than I thought it would be. The acting was - in general - excellent, with only one or two instances where I thought it was a bit too cheesy or overdone.

Dwayne Johnson was fantastic; having seen him in several films I was expecting a less solemn, more caricatured, performance. But he was excellent, and I have gained a little more respect for him as a serious actor (though I wouldn't cast him outside head-bashing quite yet).

Overall an underrated movie in my opinion, and definitely worth a watch if you like a good story.
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Another case of false advertising
neil-4768 August 2014
Hercules and chums are mercenaries, pressed into service for Lord Cotys to put down a rebel uprising which looks likely to overthrow the throne.

The trailer teases this movie as being a myths and monsters movie: it isn't. It's a fairly routine swords and sandals actioner, and the mythical critters teased in the trailer all come before the opening title, and are either tall tales depicted, or things seen unclearly from a distance. What is left is a rather dark film with a lot of battle action, pitched uneasily at a level which is too graphic for family viewing and not graphic enough for those who like blood and dismemberment.

There is a single F word - unnecessary and out of place.

Dwayne Johnson does this stuff well - he looks good, has great physical presence and, even when the part is somewhat darker than usual, he remains very likable. The supporting cast are all quite good - it was interesting to see Rufus Sewell playing a goodie for once (kind of like a young Ian McShane even though McShane was also in the film, with all the best moments of humour), and John Hurt gets to play both ends of the spectrum, meek and scenery-chewing.

I quite liked this - it is certainly a lot better than this year's previous Hercules offering - but felt that it was a missed opportunity: they promised me monsters and then didn't deliver them!
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A real surprise
anthony-zappia30 December 2014
This film was a real surprise to me. I was expecting something that was a cross between Kevin Sorbo's TV show and Wrath of the Titans. But the producers chose a completely different direction for this re-telling. Aside from the shorts at the beginning we see no monsters. Nor do we see beautiful gods and goddesses. Hercules' greatest enemy in this story is the very real (and human) threat of betrayal and treachery. And rather than a one man- show, we see Hercules aided by a band of loyal friends who are every bit as skilled as the demigod. The film raises the question what is more important: what others believe of you or what you believe about yourself? The film has a bevy of great actors including John Hurt, Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell and I think Dwayne Johnson is perfect for the main role.
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Liked the message
oldgirl18 January 2015
For those wanting a 'genuine' mythology Hercules; this is not the movie for you. For those wanting a dark and realistic take on Hercules; this is not really the movie for you. For those hoping for popcorn fare, a little gory for a ten year old but just about right for a 13 or 14 year old, for those hoping for solid acting performances, well-choreographed fight scenes, and pretty high production values, then this is your show. And it's got a strong positive message that even those put off by the occasional splash of blood, the fleeting glimpse of bare female bottom, or the single comic use of the 'F' word would agree is something the American public occasionally needs to hear. Is it sort of formulaic? Yeah. So what? There are plenty of formulaic movies that have risen above stereotype into archetype. This isn't one of them, but it was worth the price of admission and the time spent. I'm glad Johnson got this movie done, and glad that I watched it.
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Gets better after 20 minutes, tries to be different
kuuk330 July 2014
Firstly, the film has a slow start. We see almost motion comic footage of Hercules doing his 12 labours in slideshow form, with Hercules face hidden in silhouette. So I felt a little cheated. Then we have a scene which tries to set up what makes this version of the main character different than any other version we have seen before. I wont give it away, as its basically what the film is about. But it tries to play with our knowledge of him.

It doesn't ignore the back story of his wife and kids, but glosses over those parts until it becomes necessary to divulge that information. Again, i think it would have been better to see it, rather than be told what happened. I knew his history and so was wondering if they would portray this properly. Instead they do something to set-up a villain for the end which I wont give away. Just know that they do tie up all lose ends as needed, but a prior knowledge of who this character is and what he has done does help the viewer understand his motivations and his life up to this point.

Its when the big war starts that you really sit up and start paying attention. Somehow watching the Rock talk doesn't interest you, but when the fighting starts with the epic 200 people battle sequences, you suddenly see where the budget went, the fights are fantastic!

What is really great is how Hercules and his band of merry men (and woman) use smarts to outwit the enemy rather than simply use strength each time. That was clever. From the moment of that first fight the film moves up a notch and becomes excellent entertainment.

Its a historical film and tries to be serious about its overall message. Dwayne does a good job but he's not going to win any awards for this. The other cast members actions are predictable and sufficient. But don't really add much to the plot. They could have been written out and it would have changed nothing.

The running length is long enough to feel satisfied and not so long that it overstays its welcome. The plot twists you see coming a mile away but at least it tries to do them. Other than one characters actions near the end which was so obvious it was stupid to include.

In conclusion, its worth watching. It takes it times to grab you, but once it does it doesn't let go. There are a few stretches of how strong Hercules is, but not enough for you to hate it. The 3D has its moments, but like most films I would rather have watched it in 2D as I don't think it made a major difference and its more comfortable not having to wear those glasses with my head upright the entire time.
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More Braun than Brain
coltsfan1828824 July 2014
Look, I know going into a Brett Ratner film starring The Rock as Hercules shouldn't have expectations high, but I expected more from this. Right from the start of the film we are immersed into a world without character development and rushed story telling.

The action scenes are all very well shot (by PG-13 standards) but everything else is subpar. Besides Dwayne Johnson most performers range from hammy to awkward, and the special effects are nothing special.

If you are capable of 100% turning your brain off, I'm talking Transformers level, you may be able to enjoy this film. But all others need not give this myth any more life.
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8512222 November 2014
Grettings from Lithuania.

"Hercules" (2014) is entertaining pop corn flick from start till finish. Turn your brain off and enjoy it. It has cool action, bigger than life Dwayne Johnson as Hercules and good supporting stuff. I was laughing each time regarding running gag about Ian McShane death - funny stuff. This flick is miles better than bad movie that came out also this year "The Legend of Hercules", skip this one and watch "Hercules" instead - it's not the best summer movie of this year, but it's worth spending 90 min. on evening with some friends and beer.

Overall, "Hercules" isn't great art, it's not even very memorable popcorn flick, but it does it job well for while it last, it entertains you - not in the most sophisticated way to the least, but it's a fun movie.
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Trailer misleads badly- the movie's not bad at all
acutler26 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
OK the trailer said this wasn't the legend we had heard. But the trailer did showcase mythical creatures and implied we would still see "The Son of Zeus"

And here lies the film's problem. And it isn't really the film's problem at all - it is the trailers!

It simply means that the entire audience start watching the film and within 5 minute experience a massive downer on the film as it appears Hercules is a fraud, a common mercenary living off his fake tales.

If the trailer was done properly this would not be a problem, because if you can put the trailer and the marketing out of your mind, what you actually have is a decent popcorn flick that is by far the most compelling telling of Hercules on-screen since the animated Disney tale, and in many respects it surpasses that tale in a much more satisfying manner.

The trailer should NOT have shown any of the mythical elements, which belong to dream sequences and tales within tales, barely 5 minutes of the movies running time.

Forget the trailer, enjoy the movie for what it is. It is not first class, but for Brett Ratner it is surprisingly coherent story-telling, and The Rock and his fellow actors sell the rather predictable twists with surprising humanity. Much worse is offered at the summer box office.
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Try The New and Improved"Hercules"! Now Completely 'Mythology' Free!
soundwave865 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If you're a fan of the Mythology of Hercules in any way, shape or form and expect to see it in this film, you will be sorely disappointed. This film has pulled a complete "World-War-Z" and left absolutely EVERYTHING about the original mythology out except for the fact that it is called "Hercules".

But what about all that awesome trailer footage? You know, of Hercules and his amazing feats of heroism? Surprise! Nothing but trailer fodder that is all over in the first 2 minutes of the film. The main focus and theme of the film is how Hercules is NOT the Hercules from myth and legend. So right off the bat the trailer has straight up lied to you.

But don't worry, what they leave out from the actual mythology of Hercules they more than make up for in plot points that are VERY BLATANTLY stolen from every other medieval/ancient era epic film made in the last 20 years. Everything from beginning the film with the ever popular "you think you know the story of Hercules? Here's the REAL story of Hercules" narrative, to timeless cliché classics like "sidekick leaves due to differing views but returns during climactic battle to save the day".

Even if you aren't looking for a true-to-its-roots Hercules movie, this movie is so completely generic you could substitute just about any other epic of the same genre and you'd swear it was the same movie. Right down to the costumes and battle sequences. The story is painfully predictable, the jokes are hammy and don't fit the tone of the genre, the characters are stock, wooden and forgettable, the fight scenes are boring, the action is unsatisfying.

Bottom line, if you aren't a Hercules fan looking for actual Hercules action then you'll be less disappointed than I, but I would still recommend skipping it and saving your money by simply watching Troy/Braveheart/Kingdom of Heaven/Beowulf/Robin Hood/300 instead; the experience will be the same, I promise. However, if you have ever enjoyed the mythology of Hercules and want to see some of it brought to life then this is not the film for you. It is the cinematic equivalent of biting into a chocolate chip cookie only to find out they're actually raisins.
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Not as advertised
mike_culligan2226 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hello fellow movie lovers. This review contains spoilers.

The trailers I saw for this movie made me believe it was going to focus on Hercules and his legendary battles with monsters from his labors.

However, they quickly gloss over those monsters in the first few minutes, then say "this is the story of the real Hercules," and the movie doesn't contain any Gods, magic, mythological beasts, or demi gods. Instead, the movie says there was only a man, a mercenary, who happen to have people spread myths and legends. That he also was never alone, but pretty much always had the backing of his friends in battle.

As a huge fan of Greek mythology, I went to the theatre expecting what the trailer advertised, and was hijinxed by another "Brothers Grimm" that didn't even make up for it by adding some magic later, but left one wanting... The story was way too easy to call as well. I'd love to have seen another "Brothers Grimm" after seeing its value upon rewatching, but if they make a sequel to this Hercules, I think I'll pull an Autolycus, only I won't be returning.

Only surprise to me, was them chaining up the "animal" at night because he suffers PTSD, then having him unchained at night in another scene helping Hercules with his "ptsd." Pretty sure they just missed the error but it still made no sense.

All in all, I gave it a 4/10 because it was watchable and had some nice action. The advertising for this movie lost it a few points alone since it wasn't what was advertised, the acting was OK but who in their right mind would ever have cast the baker who moved to Germany in "How I Met Your Mother" as a fighter...also her scenes seemed like they just wanted to add a Legolas character as well as a female to the ensemble of characters. I love Atalanta, but wow what a waste of her myth.
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A great twist on a classic story...and the rock!
Yankeeserck4 August 2014
"Hercules" starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson absolutely delivers on its promise to be entertaining. I went into this film with half-hearted expectations, thinking that Dwayne Johnson wouldn't fit the part well, I fully expected this to be an entire film of blood and fighting. This is far from correct. The writers of this film are fantastic going for almost "A knight's tale" vibe to it with a ton of comedy. I honestly found myself laughing out loud much more than I found myself getting drilled with constant WWE style fighting like there was in "The legend of hercules", mind you this is a very good thing. The laid back style of this film is what makes it so great, sadly this film failed in the box office, hopefully folks can see the potential and eat it up on bluray/DVD.
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Nice and entertaining
corwin05-134-8576538 June 2015
I wasn't expecting much. I mean, with the Rock in it, i was thinking it's the Scorpion King all over again... Just remember if you watch Hercule, it's not a serious movie. Like "King Arthur" serious.

Well, i was happy with it. Just this kind of movie you watch with some friends or even alone, with some beer or popcorn... Entertainment. Yep. Nice battle, no fancy special effect once the first 10 min are behind us and that's great. No useless splash of blood every two sec to pretend to be adult.

The story is about what make a man into a legend, but even with that in mind, the movie keep having fun at giving us hint that he is a demigod, then taking that back right after, making him a simple human being with a self confidence issue.

I liked it, because the hero is not complaining all the time. He got his moral code, his friend, and that's it. He's not a dark, silent, tortured, bad ass hero. Here, Dwayne do a great job at picturing this kind of inspiring hero. Besides having great size of arms, of course...

If you want a movie with heroes who alway looked angry at something, wrestling with cgi enemy and staring the blankness of the green screen, go for Clash of titan and its sequel, you'll be served.
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Really poorly done with every imaginable cliché trotted out and thudded across the screen.
lbhurt26 July 2014
I went into this movie with high expectations as I've enjoyed most of The Rock's movies and I am a huge childhood fan of Hercules (the old movies, not the Kevin Sorbo series) and I hoped this would be a return to the glory days of Hercules. Instead we have tired old cornball stereotype a la Steven Spielberg at his most nauseating with the smarmy kid, the athletic girl, the wise old cornball, the loyal dog-boy, and the capable friend. There is a suggestion of Hercules being a fraud and his "disciples" around him being the root of his mythic status with the little PT Barnham kid endlessly hocking everything Hercules does. The fights scenes are a couple steps back in technology as I have no idea how you could release this movie in light of the stupefying fight scenes delivered in say the "300" movies. The Rock wears what looks like a child's training bra for a chest-plate for nearly the entire movie despite the fact that the chest muscle rests somewhere around his collar bone. Everything about this movie is superficial, adolescent, and about the level of a low budget Saturday morning cartoon... on public television. This is career ending bad. The kind of bad that sticks to you and follows you around. Brett Ratner's feeble direction in this crap-fest succeeded tremendously in ruining everyone's career involved in it. Ishtar should thank God this movie was made as now it can rest peacefully knowing some unfortunate incompetent souls have somehow managed to save it from being the worst movie of all time.
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So many things wrong with this movie
bayrockets1727 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First review I have written. I have never been so moved to review a movie until now. I am not sure if the movie has more clichés or plot holes in it, but there are a ton of both. I would have preferred a movie just showing Hercules defeating his 12 labors. The highlight of the movie was the first 5 minutes summarizing the 12 labors Hercules faced. Instead we are given a ridiculous story of Hercules as a mercenary after his family's death. He is hired to lead an army against rebels. The reality the rebels are the good guys and he was fooled. Cliché? Ergenia, the King's daughter could have simply paid Hercules to kill her Father. That would have been a simple task, seeing as he had no army at that point. Anyway I could list a ton of issues with the movie but the biggest one I would like to point out is the appearance of King Eurystheus at the end of the movie. The man turns out to be the murderer of Hercules' family. He is nowhere in the movie at all except for one flashback which showed him briefly. Yet this "King" shows up at the end of the movie when Hercules is captured. So you are telling me...Sometime after returning that day from a major war and during celebrations King Eurystheus showed up to Thrace knowing that Hercules wouldn't leave with the gold? This King traveled to Thrace with just 3 murderous dogs? None of his own soldiers to protect him? What King does that?

If you ignore all the plot holes you are still left with a movie without much character development or narrative at all. Honestly I had to check the character list in IMDb because I didn't know the names of any characters after watching the movie.

Don't waste your money on this movie.
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Action Hero Movie with Swords and Shields...
b18208061 November 2014
This is my first review ever. I had to start because i want to give good movies justice! This Hercules movie is refreshing and a new take on Hercules. It is a TRUE hybrid take of Hercule's as a man and a "god"...not just your typical demigod, clash of titans, gods beaming in and out, angels flying down to help... type movies. If your expecting those, you would be disappointed. Instead this takes a look of Hercules as a man (I am trying really hard not to spoil the movie here!). It is promoting good morals, that often times how we are is what we make of ourselves.

It is full of action and highly entertaining and the story was decent! So if your into action, sword and board... type movies you will definitely enjoy this one. One of the better action war movies i've seen.

Don't get too hung over by what your current thoughts are about Hercules and what you expect of him already. Keep an open mind and watch this movie as a hero action movie and you will enjoy it much more.

As a side note... I hate critics saying things like, this Hercules movie is not good and no one has made a good enough Hercules movie thus far...well maybe your damn standards are too high. I feel like this portrayal of Hercules is one of the best one out.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as i do.
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Don't bother
Gummybear201224 July 2014
I had zero expectations but my sister forced me to accompany her to watch this. It was literally worse than I thought it would be.

Utter waste of time and money. Don't do it! Wait for it to come out on DVD or stream it online.

The movie is filled with weak acting, cheesy lines, over use of background music, poor storyline, predictable ending. Really such a waste of talent for John Hurt and Joseph Fiennes.

I wasn't the only one laughing hysterically in the cinema.

2 stars that saves this movie (for the scenery, set design and costumes).
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Simply excellent entertainment
iepw123 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I give this film ten simply because it was way up there for sheer entertainment, with no over the top blood and gore , something I find mostly completely uneccessary. It made me laugh when it was meant to and it had that 'Saturday morning pictures'(sorry all those under 60years old) feel of excitement without any of the cheap sensationalism which so many films seem to employ these days.Maybe others call it cheesy but I actually like it when the good guys win(a certain George Lucas made quite a success of that). So if you like the poster(Dwain never looked better) you want to be entertained for 98minuites without having to work too hard, I'm gonna say this is an excellent (maybe great) movie and I will check back in to see it again tomorrow. Oh yes and it has two movie moments which are superb in my view, I leave you too work out what they are but they both involved the 'Rock' at his best even if he did need to swear for one of them, it was worth it, and the other, well Heros always have to emerge from clouds of smoke or flames or some such and given how hard the man worked to get himself looking right I reckon he does one of the best emergence ever, go and enjoy it, and watch Tinker ,Taylor, Soldier, Spy another day.
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An enjoyable B-movie hampered by abundant dumbness
adamscastlevania221 August 2014
(58%) A movie that could have quite easily dipped into crap territory is saved by well directed and plentiful action, good production values, Mr Johnson being a perfect leading man, John hurt calling Hercules a "filthy bastard" and "Atalanta" (bow-girl) looking uncannily like Nicole Kidman from the early 90's. The fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously is a benefit, but I'd have liked the script to be a little stronger and the humour to be sharper, as it does stop this from being a full recommendation from me. That said it's still a decent little watch that gets better as the plot thickens in it's second half, but before that arrives it's just a little too dumb to grab my full attention.
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we walked out of this movie
daniel_rece20027 August 2014
If you've seen the trailer of Hercules and think "I must see this' .. well think again.

The trailer is pretty much the first minute of the film. Those aren't even full scenes.

Looks like they spent half of the budget of the film on a few seconds of CGI and then the movie continues with some low budget skirmishes and people talking.

You could sum this movie up as Trailer + an episode of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" TV series with the Rock instead of Kevin Sorbo.

People were walking out of the mostly empty theater and so did we.
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"In order to be a hero, you must first believe you are a hero."
transkohmer26 July 2014
《Hercules》Rating: 6 per 10 "In order to be a hero, you must first believe you are a hero." -Muscular Dwayne Johnson is Hercules.

Which kind of characters haven't portrayed by the charming Dwayne Johnson. He used to be a tooth fairy, a good cop, and even a stern football coach.

I walked into cinema with a thought this would be a fantasy-adventure film with a demigod fighting all sorts of evil monsters. It turns out to be a comedy-action flick. Nonetheless, it is still okay for me.

Surprisingly, there are no gods, evils or humans with magic in this film. What we have are spears, arrows, swords and roars. The movie doesn't turn into what we see in 《Clash of The Titans》and 《300》.

There are only humans, just normal humans. Perhaps the names of Greek gods and monsters are just metaphors. Cerberus symbolises Hercules's own inner demon from his past and centaurs are not any creatures but true horsemen who are loyal to their land.

And Hercules is a symbol of strength, brave and warriorship.

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Good entertainment with something to say about the sons of god
Tyson1431 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If this had been headlined by anyone other than Dwayne Johnson then I'm not sure I'd have turned up at the cinema. Even then it was a bit touch and go. What could this sword and sandals flick offer that wasn't already covered by many others the last fifteen years? It turns out Hercules is pretty unique in its attempt to say something important about the world we live in, layered beneath the many coloured imagination of director Brett Ratner and the needs of a PG12 rating.

Hercules is one of the great legends of ancient Greece, the half human son of Zeus. The slayer of mighty beasts and a single man able to face down whole armies. Or so the legend says.

It has been three years since Hercules was banished from Athens for the alleged murder of his wife and children. He now roams the lands around the Aegean sea, a mercenary for hire, along with his small band of loyal soldiers. When a beautiful princess asks Hercules to save her father's once proud kingdom from marauding centaurs, the offer of payment in gold to Hercules weight is too good to refuse. As Hercules trains the rag tag army of this beleaguered nation and leads them to battle, Hercules and his men realise not all is it what it seems. When Hercules's past turns around and confronts him face on he has to also face the reality of his own legend.

Despite an often flat first half carried on the very broad shoulders of our man Dwayne, we realise at the mid-point a quite interesting premise has been played and the second half is quite something. Dwayne is always charismatic if not possessed of the ease Rufus Sewell and Ian McShane have in front of camera, both of which almost steal the show. Hercules small band of warriors work well together although Ian McShane in particular has all the best lines and moments, memorably towards the end.

Ultimately this is very watchable, a good way to spend a few hours on a Friday night. It has a very worthwhile message, is underpinned by great actors and is clever, at least in the second half. But there is something missing. This is a PG12, which means for all the violence, of which there is a lot, there is nothing to ground it as real violence. Hercules has heart but it's a long way short of Conan (1982) and a league apart from Gladiator (2000). By giving it such an unrealistic context, violence without reality, to achieve a younger audience it detracts from the core message, so painstakingly woven through the story.

Hercules is good entertainment with something important to say if you're willing to overlook a few shortcomings, mostly around catering for a younger audience.
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Antiquated and Asinine.
The_moan_of_all_moans6 August 2014
I....well I....I truly don't know where to begin. I mean, after all the hype, month after month of promotion, Hercules this and Hercules that....this.... this is what we get?

As I sat there in the cinema, letting this film rape my eyes, I began to question myself and really give myself an internal telling off. I have this irritating inability to just walk out of the screening during a film. No matter how horrific the film is, my backside just appears to be glued to the seat. Not only was i upset with my lack of assertiveness, but I also lost faith in my fellow man. Whilst I was gradually chewing my face off, I couldn't help but notice a few people who where clearly enjoying the film. Laughing at material that was no funnier than a violent case of diarrhea (yes i know, ironic, because this film is just that). I mean it was bad.....really bad, not funny whatsoever. It was painfully predictable. And these people where...laughing. Why? Was it a case of "if you don't laugh, you'll cry"? I sure hope so, for the sake of humanity.

Every single character in this film, was diabolical. And collectively they create a time wasting tragedy. The direction was paralytic. Even the action is criminal . In the trailer, they show Hercules battle mythological beasts and I in no way want to spoil anything, but be prepared to see 90% of those "battles" in the first 5 minutes...i do not jest. It is false advertising at its finest. And as those 5 minutes disappear into obscurity, all you are left with is "The Great One".... Dwayne Johnson try his damnedest to stop his strong American accent from taking over...which he fails to do...every 2nd or 3rd line. But hey, casting wouldn't be about finding someone who can actually do the accent, or someone who can act, or someone who isn't cocooned in cheese. It's all about those muscles. Plain and Simple. Dwayne Johnson is an average actor, he was great in "Pain and Gain", but for this role? This was a case of biting off more than you can chew. And ironically enough "The Rock" acted like stone.

I must also add that if I where as shallow as this film, i could have easily used this as a way to terminate my long term relationship with my girlfriend. As prior to going to see it, our options where "Guardians of the Galaxy" or "Hercules", and my girlfriend chose this. Looking back that choice was like either having a 5 star meal or eating my own feces. So there you go, this film has the capability of possibly ruining lives.

If you want to see a film about the legend of Hercules, there is a perfectly good Disney film that caters to the legend and doesn't try to re-write or re-analyze it. And I can't believe these words are being typed by my fingers.....but...there is also a Hercules film that was recently made called..."Legend of Hercules" starring future Oscar winner Kellan Lutz.... and in a previous review, I trampled all over it and actually typed Dwayne must be shaking in his boots, well in hindsight he should have been, because yes people, Kellan Lutz played Hercules better than Dwayne Johnson and that....that is probably the BIGGEST insult I could ever give anyone...
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Bit disappointing
aharmas4 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
At first I didn't think "The Rock" would make a good Hercules, but once I saw the film I couldn't say anything negative about him. The demi-god is after all not big on words, and this is not Shakespeare. Plus, he's got the physical attributes and the persona to pull off this job. The movie producers did a good job putting on the screen what this historical period must have looked like, and the effects are not bad at all. It was also a pleasure to see some good actors playing nasty: Fiennes and Hurt were very effective, and they chewed the scenery when required.

So what happened? If you are a fan of mythology, you will be disappointed because the film only addresses the myths in reference, and we barely get a chance to see them. The film deals with a completely different "period" of Hercules' life, and it wasn't the best the writers could come up with. Once again, heavy on the effects and looks and not enough care going into the writing.

Maybe if you are willing to sit through some barely amusing battle scenes that are easily surpassed by some of the thrills in the less seen "Pompeii", a film that at least had some respect for its source and spent more time in the choreography of the gladiators' fights and took care to focus on the destruction of the city. Yes, I was impressed by the destruction of the big statue here, but I would have liked to see more of the demi-god powers than a last minute turn of events to prove a point.

Leave your brain outside, sit and enjoy the air conditioning and get ready to get in "Transformers" mode, and you'll be pleased with the loud effects and the thin storyline.
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Some good old-fashioned battle scenes and a surprisingly generous dollop of tongue-in-cheek humour combine to make this perfectly serviceable summer popcorn fun
moviexclusive23 July 2014
Many box-office prognosticators have their bet on 'Hercules' to be the first expensive summer flop of the year, and - truth be told - before we saw Brett Ratner's take on the Greek demigod, we were just as unimpressed by what the trailers and the poster made it out to be. But the marketing of this utterly cheesy but surprisingly entertaining swords and sandals epic missed out one crucial point in its over- eagerness to sell the combat spectacle - it is also very intentionally funny.

In deconstructing the myth for a modern-day summer popcorn viewing audience, Ratner and his writers Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos have drawn their inspiration from Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya's graphic novels 'Hercules: The Thracian Wars' and placed our titular hero squarely in reality. As the opening narration cheekily warns, this isn't going to be the legend you're familiar with; rather, it uses the legend - including his fabled 12 labours - as no more than hearsay which his nephew tells to motivate the troops Hercules is leading into battle.

But really, Hercules is just a mere mortal with superhuman strength here, who leads a band of mercenaries helping kings and queens to slay beasts and conquer foes for a return in gold. Besides his aforementioned nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie) who longs to prove himself in battle, the rest are just as fearless as Hercules himself - including the knife- throwing Autolycus (Rufus Sewell) with his witty asides, the spear- wielding seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), the super-sexy Amazon archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), and the brutish Tydeus (Aksel Hennie). They are as tightly knit a crew as anyone can ask for, and fiercely loyal to Hercules to whom they owe their lives.

As man, Hercules finds himself haunted by the death of his wife and children three years ago while in the kingdom of King Eurystheus (Joseph Fiennes). Accused as a murderer in Athens, Hercules is hack for hire by the ruler of Thrace, Lord Cotys (John Hurt), who enlists his crew to defeat a warlord rumoured to be a centaur and into the dark arts. That is the excuse for the first of many well-choreographed battle scenes, which Ratner stages with more verisimilitude than one has come to expect from similar such genre pictures. Though a trained viewer can still pick out the CGI, these scenes are nevertheless exciting and thrilling, combining good old-fashioned formation tactics with Ben Hur-like chariot chases and some Lord-of-the-Rings type one-versus-many pounding.

Those looking for some 'Game of Thrones' intrigue need not apply; indeed, the narrative here is as straightforward as it gets, no matter the minor twist two-thirds into the film that has Hercules struggling to make a moral choice when he realises that he and his crew may have been manipulated by Lord Cotys himself. It does however offer enough to give Dwayne Johnson to flex his dramatic muscles as Hercules, as his call of conscience gives him an opportunity to grow into the hero behind the legend.

That is of course nothing compared to the physical weightlifting which Johnson is called to do in the movie, the inevitable demands of the role only demonstrating why he is such a perfect fit for it. It is difficult to imagine any other Hollywood actor today than Johnson in the character, but it is more than just his physique that we are referring to here. Yes, Johnson also couples that with charm, charisma and comic timing, attributes of which play nicely to Ratner's neat balance of camp and solemnity in tone. Johnson is also joined by a stellar ensemble, in particular Hurt's scene-chewing performance as the duplicitous ruler.

Coming after such pompous predecessors like the god-awful 'Clash of the Titans' and its sequel 'Wrath of the Titans', as well as other copycats like 'Immortals' and even this year's 'The Legend of Hercules', Ratner's 'Hercules' comes almost like a breath of fresh air. It embraces its B- movie roots, doesn't try to be more than what it is, serves up a generous dollop of tongue-in-cheek fun and engaging battle action on an epic scale. Ignore the cynics - this is pure pulpy entertainment that is perfectly serviceable summer movie-going fun. After all, it takes a certain kind of movie that dares to reserve a zinger like 'f**king centaur' for its lead character in fourth-century BC.
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OK but not the best .
diazm121130 December 2014
Now I know a lot of people are bashing this movie apart. Basically people are going to see this movie thinking that its following the mythology of Hercules. That's what most people were let down by,its more close the mythology but this flick is based on a comic book (I never read the comics but I know this because it was on Wikipedia,its called Hercules : The Thracian wars by Radical) The story was well paced and good, maybe goofy at sometimes but it was well put and solid.

My only problems with this movie were the short run time (1hr,38 minutes) and the 3D. The runtime could have been extended so we could have more things explained in a better time frame but it had to be 98 minutes long which I thought was disappointing because I wanted to see more of the movie but I never did. I mention the 3D was bad and not too good. It was basically good at some points but not all the time and I was let down with 3D because my cousin pressured me to see it IMAX 3D the IMAX format worked well with that awesome crystal clear imagery and kickass surround sound but 3D was bad. We paid $40.00 bucks to see it in IMAX 3D besides it would be better if it was just in IMAX 2D or regular 2D. So all in all this movie is not the best but it is a good attempt from Paramount and MGM and kudos to them for that. Hell, its better than the Summit version with Kellan Lutz ewww.
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