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Times of India
The mighty Hercules (Johnson) is presented in a revisionist light. Not only does he have to kick some serious ass, he also needs to silence his inner demons and defeat an evil king.
: Brett Ratner has put much effort into removing Dwayne Johnson's Hercules from the lofty pedestals of immortality and infallibility and placing him on decidedly mortal ground. Sure, Hercules' biceps can rival a truck tyre in girth. But this mythological marauder now also feels pain on both physical and emotional levels.
Myths and mythology aside, things are made easy to follow. For starters, the 12 Labours of Hercules are referenced fleetingly (defeating the Nemean Lion was one of them, that's where his old-school lion hoodie comes from) and Hercules comes across as a reluctant hero. His motley crew of loyal followers comprising Amphiaraus (McShane), Autolycus (Sewell), Tydeus (Hennie), Atalanta (Berdal) and Iolaus (Ritchie) and him are mercenaries, butchering assorted riffraff.
During a feast one night, they are approached by Lord Cotys's (Hurt) daughter Ergenia (Ferguson) who offers them Hercules's weight in gold if they can help him defeat the warlord Rhesus (Santlemann), the supposed bad guy. They are summoned to Thrace to train Cotys's army who are woefully inadequate for the rigours of battle. But all is not what it seems with Cotys. King Eurystheus (Fiennes) might also have a hand in the fact that Hercules is tormented by visions of his dead wife (Shayk) and kid.
Johnson is hands-down a great choice for Hercules - miles ahead of Kellan Lutz's depiction of the hero in 'The Legend of Hercules', where Lutz looked like a clueless pumped-up frat boy who accidentally stumbled onto the sets of a toga party.
When Johnson isn't punching and slashing, he conveys the softer emotions rather well. His pals though, whether by design or not, don't leave an impact. Fiennes' Eurystheus deserved more screen time. The climax could've been better and while the battles scenes aren't as epic as *Gladiator*, the film, along with its sprinkling of tongue-in-cheek lines, makes for a fun watch.
Dwayne Johnson trained hard for eight months to prepare for his look as Hercules.
The film is based on the novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's cousin Tamina Snuka makes her debut with this film.
Apart from this film, there are other two Hercules films that talk about the Greek Demigod and hero which also happen to release in 2014: The Legend of Hercules and Hercules Reborn.
I liked Hercules because The Rock knows how to give the audience what they want in these types of films. He will flex his muscles, do incredible things, have some kick-butt fights, and stand up for good against evil. sounds like most of his movies, just a different time/era. I liked this movie for pure entertainment and mindless good versus evil. Set expectations correctly, and you should like it too. enjoy