Unlike its predecessor, The Legend Of Hercules which came out earlier this year and turned out to be a gigantic bore, Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock”Johnson as the titular character, turns out to be perfectly entertaining and engrossing. Hercules is based on a graphic novel published by Radical Comics called Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Comic book writer/editor Steve Moore wrote this original graphic novel alongside artist Cris Bolsin. Thus to start with the film had a decent amount of source material. Please be informed that this film is no history lesson and is meant only for the purpose of entertainment and it never ever tries to be anything more than that. So for those who are looking for sensible drama or historically correct cinema should look else where.
The film starts off with the necessary introduction which introduces us to Hercules who has successfully completed his 12 labors
dispatching off beasts and monsters alike and is now a mercenary who is only one job away from settling into a peaceful life on an island on the black sea. However he is unable to do so as Erginia(Rebecca Ferguson ) walks into his life and offers him a job which would grant him gold in his weight. Hercules agrees and in the company of his team marches to the Kingdom of Thrace where he is informed by the king that the kingdom is being oppressed by a man named Rhesus(Tobias Santlemann) and his gang of murdering thugs who plan to overthrow the kingdom of Thrace and bring destruction upon its people.
Hercules obliges and goes to the extent of training Thrace’s army and also fighting in the war himself. Soon Rhesus is defeated and it is then that Hercules realizes that he might have been conned into doing something which is wrong and he might have helped the wrong people. What happens next ? Is Hercules able to correct the wrongs he had done ? Is he really the legend or just a man ? These are some of the questions which drive the narrative for about 99 minutes and by the time we reach the end, the legend of Hercules is finally established. All questions answered and the viewer thoroughly entertained.
A film like Hercules has a specific target audience and it does just enough to cater to this target audience. It isn’t totally mindless and the story works up well till the half time making room for the action that is about to commence and also justifies the violence which is to follow. The primary characters and their reasons for doing what they are doing are established well enough and no questions are left unanswered by the time the end credits start rolling. That’s just about as much storytelling and plot development that I had expected. The Rock then takes over and his mammoth physicality and his immense likeability makes you fall in love with his character.
Over the years we have seen him mature as an actor and he doesn’t disappoint you one bit here. The action sequences work well for his physicality and even though the visual effects are a shade away from the best, you don’t mind too much as you are already having such a good time. The action is relentless and with story and drama peppered in between, the action never gets on your nerve. Apart from the Rock, John Hurt as the evil Cotys makes quite an impression. He is cold and unapologetic and meets with a similar end. Joseph Fiennes as King Eurystheus is equally foxy and does well in his brief role. Rebecca Ferguson and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal serve as the eye candy and they are mouthwatering.
Overall Hercules delivers on the promises that it made and delivers well. If you are looking for some good looking for some pre historic action with a legend swinging his club on one and all with furious tempers, then Hercules is the film for you this week. The others may look elsewhere.