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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Review: ‘Hercules’

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the mythological hero.

A new interpretation of the classical Greek hero’s story, “Hercules” gives a more realistic approach in an action-packed summer flick that isn’t all that horrible.
The film begins by showing off the mighty Hercules (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) performing his own take on the Twelve Labors of Hercules from mythological tales.
The film follows the ruler of Thrace and his daughter who seek out Hercules and his companions to help defeat a barbaric and vicious warlord. After a narrow victory against the barbarians, Hercules and his warriors train the Thracian army so that they are more prepared when they next meet the warlord’s forces. However, as events unfold, Hercules is forced to become the legend and hero that he once was so that justice will prevail.
Johnson has the title role and fits the role by showing off his acting and physical prowess. Backstory about his physical strength in the film brings a sense of humanity to the mythological hero. There are several scenes that Johnson pushes his physical limits, such as the “I am Hercules” scene in the trailers. His companions, Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), Tydeus (Aksel Hennie) and Atalanta (Ingrid Berdal) are a group of warriors brought together by Hercules and their love of adventure and gold. Each character has a certain set of skills that are useful in battles, but acting wise they are pretty forgettable and could be filled by anyone.
McShane has the only notable role of the group and serves as the main comic relief in the film. Despite the lack of depth, there is a definite chemistry between Hercules and his friends, and it is one of the driving forces of the film. The ruler of Thrace that hires Hercules, Lord Cotys (John Hurt) plays his role well, but like the others could have been much better.
There were several action scenes that were impressive, showing off the physicality of the actors’ stunt work. The first battle between the Thracians and barbarians particularly was the highlight of the film because of how well choreographed the fight sequences were. The creatures featured in the beginning like the Hydra and Nimean Lion are really well done and visually stunning. Some of the battle sequence shots, which featured large crowds, probably wouldn’t compete with the visuals of the great films that came out five years ago. Several scenes were lacking, and the attempts on creation any kind of emotion seemed to be a tad cheesy. The dialogue and plot is pretty straightforward with a small, unexpected twist, but otherwise, the story leaves something to be desired.
Johnson’s performance is easily the strongest and leaves the supporting cast behind.
The film’s visuals are inconsistent — fantastic in some scenes and lacking in others. Expectations for this film may have been underwhelming — another bland summer action-packed movie that was filled with CG effects. It ended up being much better than expected, but still was lacking the depth of a great action film.

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