Hulu has started streaming movies as well as TV shows. I’d wanted to see the new Hercules movie since it came out. Perfect Combination!
The movie stars Dwayne Johnson (are we still calling him the Rock?) in the title role, which is probably one of the best casts I can think of for Hercules.
The trailer advertises the classic story of the Twleve Labors of Hercules with our hero slaying many beasts to thunderous applause.
That is not what the movie is about. At all.
So with that disappointment out of the way, let’s talk about what the movie is about.
Hercules and his band of friends are mercenaries with Hercules as the front man.
Hercules and his band of misfits are hired by King Cotys to defeat the barbarian warlord, Rhesus, who is attacking local towns. They train Cotys’ army and then lots of fight scenes ensue. Standard action movie stuff.
The group plays up Hercules’ reputation by constantly reinforcing that he is the son of Zeus and that he’s slain tons of fantastical monsters. All of that is false in this story. No monsters. No divine parentage. Just stories to make Hercules more intimidating to their foes.
There is a bit about Hercules having to fight centaurs later on in the movie, but a nod is given to what some people believe inspired the myth of centaurs, people riding horses. A person unfamiliar with that practice might assume that they were seeing a human-horse hybrid and not just a person on top of a horse.
As for Hercules’ well-known strength that many are familiar with from the Disney movie, that is actually in the movie. It’s not to the supernatural degree, but he is still really freaking strong.
There is some augmnetation for that intimidation factor I mentioned. At one point Hercules kills a man with one punch. The audience sees that he accomplished this by concealing an arrowhead in his fist and stabbing it into the man’s skull.
Hercules is very similar to 300 and Beowulf. He even shares the iconic scene in Beowulf where the title character shouts his name to emphasize his manliness. If you liked those movies you will like Hercules.
If you’re looking for a story that is actually about the myths of Hercules, that isn’t here. There are tons of references to the myths, but no actual reenactments. Similar to Troy the movie tries to show us how historical events could’ve inspired those myths instead of showing the myths themselves.
If none of that interests you the movie is still a decent action movie. Lots of well choreographed violence and snarky one-liners. It’s not the best in that genre, but I certainly enjoyed myself.
If any of the stuff I said interested you, go check out Hercules in the DVD section of your local store or on Hulu if you have a subscription (I don’t think you can watch it there if you don’t have one).