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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Hercules (2014)


The stone age totally needed a whole lot more Rock Bottoms.

Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) was born as a demigod; meaning he was both a human, as well as powerful, immortal God. And while there have been constant stories whispered in the shadows about him and all of the numerous battles he has won, not everybody’s sure as to what the true story is. Is he a human after all, that can live and die just like us? Or, is he simply a God-like human who was put on this Earth to protect those who need him the most? He doesn’t answer that, nor does any of his long legion of trusted associates, who join him along on every mission/task he has. Their latest “adventure” of sorts, is from Cotys, King of Thrace (John Hurt) who propositions them with a hefty amount of gold, in which all they have to do is train his army to be the most ruthless, fearless army on the planet, as well as be able to help him overtake these other armies that have been ruining his various lands. Hercules doesn’t like to be considered a “mercenary”, even though he totally is, but he takes the job anyway and somehow finds himself connecting with the King’s daughter (Rebecca Ferguson) and starting to realize that something may not be all that fine with this mission. Something rather mysterious seems to be going on, actually.

Apparently, earlier in the year, there was another big-budget Hercules reboot that starred Kellan Lutz and while I heard nothing special about it, nor had any intentions of seeing it (it was January after all), it made me think about how, once again, Hollywood seemed to be running out of original/innovative ideas. Last year, it was two “secret-service-men-saves-president-from-terrorists” movie; now this year, it’s two Hercules movies. One starring a male model, the other, starring the Rock.

"Who turned the lights on?!?!?"

“Who turned the lights on?!?!?”

Which one do you think is better?

My thoughts exactly.

See, because while I do sneer at the fact that this is a movie directed by Brett Ratner, for some reason, that never bothered me during this movie. Sure, Ratner doesn’t necessarily have a certain style or trademark that allows his movies to be considered “his own” (except that most of them blow), but you know when you’re watching a movie and it happens to be bad, which as a result, also ends up being directed by Brett Ratner. So when I actually walked into this movie, I wasn’t feeling to happy. Dwayne Johnson (I guess I’ll give up and just call him that from now on) is always somebody I can smile about seeing, but Brett Ratner? No thank you very much on that!

Somehow though, the movie worked for me, which may, or may not have anything to do with the fact that Brett Ratner was the one sitting behind the camera (presumably doing cocaine off of hooker’s asses). A part of me wants to say it is, but another part of me still wants to fight it and not give into the idea that a movie coming from the sweaty, hairy palms of Brett Ratner, might actually be considered “good”. And the only reason why I highlight this fact so much, is because the movie’s a whole bunch of fun and shows that, despite his terrible reputation amongst those in the biz, Brett Ratner is capable of directing a “good” movie; better yet, he’s actually capable of a directing a “fun” movie.

And with the story of Hercules and Dwayne Johnson in the lead, you really do need some element of fun to keep everything moving surely and fine. Which, here, usually consists of us watching as Johnson lurks around the screen like the huge, HGH-fueled monster that he is, occasionally making jokes, cracking a grin, patting little aspiring boys on their heads, and, every once and a blue moon, freaking out from his troubled-past. But, for the most part, this movie just consists of him kicking ass with every inch of his square body and if you’re like me and grew up on seeing that occur on a daily basis, then yeah, this movie’s going to be a total blast for you.

If you aren’t used to seeing the People’s Champion lay the smackdown on some jabronis, then you may want to watch the 1995 Disney-animated flick. That has a lot more substance than this movie, and is perfect if you’re looking for something with more of a deeper meaning. Because here, you’re not really going to find it, although the movie totally does try and ultimately, fails. In fact, the only times where I really felt like I may have lost total interest, is exactly when the characters started talking, getting all dramatic and focusing on Hercules’ problems. I get that the movies needs those elements in order to round the character out some more and not just be an non-stop barrage of violence, action, and arrows, but it could have been done slightly better. Then again, you could say that about any movie really.

"Oh mah gawd!! From the top-rope!!"

“Oh mah gawd!! From the top-rope!!”

Like I was saying about Johnson earlier though, the man is perfectly fine as Hercules – he’s never really called on to do any heavy-lifting that may result in him popping a blood vessel or pulling a groin muscle – he’s mostly just told to look tough, be his usual charming-self whenever the script calls on it, and be willing to kick anybody’s ass. He does that oh so perfectly here, which isn’t really a surprise at all, considering he’s done it for about his whole entire career. And we, as a society, are so much better for it, too. Wrestling fans, or not.

And like how it is for Johnson in the lead role, the rest of the cast isn’t really called onto do much either. Except this time, they have to be a bit more cheery and likable. Which, when you have a supporting cast that includes the likes of John Hurt, Peter Mullan, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell, and Ian McShane, do you really expect much else? No, not really. Just like you sure as hell don’t expect Brett Ratner to make something that could be considered “good”, but hey, here we are.

The world is chock full of surprises, ain’t it?

Consensus: With Brett Ratner at the helm, and Dwayne Johnson in the lead sporting a loincloth and a club by his side, Hercules is exactly what you’d expect from it to be, except maybe a tad too heavy on the drama.

6.5 / 10 = Rental!!

He said he beat both Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan, but I thought he was lion.....

He said he beat both Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan, but I thought he was lion…..

Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, AceShowbiz

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33 responses to “Hercules (2014)

  1. feelingfuzzier July 26, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Great review Dan! I too thought the movie took itself too seriously at times. Still, not the disaster many were predicting!

  2. timckm91 July 26, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Thanks for the review. Makes me glad I chose to see A Most Wanted Man instead

  3. Caz July 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Good review Dan! I really enjoyed this a lot more than I expected. I guess I have a soft spot for The Rock he was always gonna lay the smackdown!

  4. thomasjford July 26, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Good review Dan, looks like a semi Ok Sunday afternoon yarn

  5. teny July 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Nice, should work a lot more for me. Not going to miss this one, whenever it finally releases here.

  6. Brittani July 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I think this will be a Netflixer for me. I love The Rock and this is kind of temping. Great review!

  7. williamjepma July 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I kind of want to check this one out now. Like you, I wasn’t the least bit excited by a Brett Ratner Hercules movie, but I guess crazier things have happened. Awesome review, man, will take your advice and rent it when it comes out.

  8. adamlaredo July 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Can’t even bring myself to consider watching it on DVD. Commercials/trailers mostly look like scenes ripped out of other crappy movies – Clash of the Titans remake, The Mummy, etc. – only with the Rock CGI’d in as the lead. Didn’t even realize Ratner the director, which seals the “I’m not watching this” deal. Good review.

  9. Parlor of Horror July 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I will go see this because I like mythology films. I love that everyone is speaking with an euro-style accent and Dwayne talks like a typical Californian. That’s a traddition (not intentional) from the old Hercules films (1960’s).

  10. Wendell July 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I’m glad it’s not total crap, but I’m still in no rush to see it. Great review, Dan.

  11. lozziirawr July 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Can’t wait until I get to see this movie!

  12. killkenny16 July 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Great review Dan! Personally I think I’m currently in the same place you say you were before seeing it: Struggling to overcome my dislike of Brett Ratner as a human being via my love of seeing Dwayne Johnson beat the crap out of people.

  13. angie chui July 27, 2014 at 1:43 am

    My personal favorite in this movie was Ian McShane. And I thought this was a great popcorn flick like you did. Way better than the Kellan Lutz version. If you haven’t seen it, I beg you not to. Its that bad. Great review, man 😀

  14. Consumed by Film July 27, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Big Rock fan, looking forward to this one. Great write-up Dan.

    Adam.

  15. Three Rows Back July 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    That pic of The Rock with an animal on his head totally sells it to me!

  16. stephen1001 July 28, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Hadn’t heard of either of the reboots – who knew!
    You’re right about those movies coming in pairs. I remember in the late 90s there was the year of the Volcano (Volcano, Dante’s Peak) & the insect (A Bug’s Life, Antz)

  17. Chris July 28, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Yup, I had a lot of fun with this one. Good review, Dan.

  18. sohansurag July 28, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Good review Dan, another excuse for me to go in just for the sake of it. I hope I do get to see enough of Irina Shayk though, or does she get killed off in the first act itself? :-/

  19. Zoë July 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Great review Dan! Still not something I will be rushing out to see!

  20. 55theintimidator55 August 3, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie this week but I don’t have high expectations for it.

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