Critics' Corner: Hercules

Renny Harlinâ??s â??Legend of Herculesâ?? that was released earlier this year wasnâ??t very good. Maybe thatâ??s why Brett Ratnerâ??s â??Herculesâ?? is coming out now, in the middle of the summer when thereâ??s a fresh new audience of people that no longer remember â??Legendâ??. The two movies, while about the same thing, are like night and day. â??Legendâ?? was more mythological and true to the legendary strongman and â??Herculesâ?? is more grounded in reality; focusing upon how legends are created and exaggerated.

I found this aspect of â??Hercluesâ?? really rewarding because I like things grounded in reality. Even when things get ridiculous, I like when they play it off as ridiculous, rather than normalcy. Ratner took all the mythological aspects of Hercules and made them stories or possible exaggerations to be believed or not. On the surface, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock) is just a man with great size and strength, but his legend has spread and he is worshipped as something more than just a man.

â??Herculesâ?? did a lot of things right but that depends upon what youâ??re looking for. If youâ??re looking for something along the lines of â??300â?? or â??Clash of the Titansâ??, look elsewhere. As I said, this is Hercules grounded in reality. There will be nothing portrayed here that is beyond possibility. Ratner makes sure that you have a strong emotional contact with Hercules and his band of warriors; again, something I really like.

This was a role that Dwayne Johnson was seemingly born to play and it is probably one of his best movies to date. Surprisingly enough, along with the machismo, the movie is written with some pretty good comedy as well; which adds to the personal connection you feel with the characters. â??Herculesâ?? is a step up from â??Legend of Herculesâ?? due to its character development and story, but not a huge step up. It still lacks in importance and it still had a conclusion you could see a mile away. The outstanding 3D, fight sequences, character development and comedy saved the day though, making â??Herculesâ?? a passable summer movie that should have grand success on video.