© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH

U.S.A. 2014

Opening 4 Sep 2014

Directed by: Brett Ratner
Writing credits: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Steve Moore
Principal actors: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie

Do you think you know the truth about Hercules? Well, you know nothing. And so begins the story of Hercules from a different point of view. In this film, Hercules had to perform twelve labors in order to appease the Goddess Hera who was furious with the infidelity of Zeus. She did her best to make Hercules’ life miserable. The labors, which included fighting a multi-headed snake, a wild boar and a lion, were only done successfully with the help of a group of misfit fighters that Hercules met along the way. The movie sheds light on the fact that Hercules may be a mortal and that his father, in fact, may not be Zeus and all his labors could only have been done with the help of his five faithful friends.

The scenery has a refreshing comic-graphic look to it, contrary to most films in this genre, which are either strictly comic or realistic. The dialogue is full of fast-paced, slap-stick comic jokes which keep the movie going. I personally found the story lacking and wished there would be more character development. I also thought this film would appeal to the teenager audiences, but my sixteen-year-old son, Adrian, also shared my opinion. He says, “The movie Hercules is an action-packed movie with lots of action in it, which I personally really enjoyed watching. It wasn’t my absolute favorite movie because I wish they would tell you more about the characters, and in the end I didn’t care about any of the characters including Hercules. I do think it is interesting to have merchants help Hercules with his tasks, which make this myth seem a little bit more realistic. I was relieved to find out that Hercules did not kill his wife and child despite these haunting visions that robbed him of his sleep. The film seemed short since it is not a film for kids, and the many aspects of the storyline were missing.” (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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