Before I start the plot and overview of this movie, there has been many versions of this legendary character played by different actors over the years and many adaptions in TV series. There is another movie a week or so before or at the same time which has a different title but a different version. This one has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in it and for me it was the sole reason I like to watch any movie with him in it.
The story starts with the twelve labors of Hercules told by Hercules nephew who admittedly is tied up over a spike pointing directly to his bottom. As he tells his captures the story of his uncle, Hercules is coming to save him with his band of friends – which consists of a fighting soothsayer, a dog-like fighter, a fighter who likes gold and an amazonian woman archer. From there he and his band finds a inn to celebrate but a woman is asking for Hercules help to save the kingdom from wild creatures and a bandits. Hercules felt something is amiss but he had no choice to follow the task at hand. But he had one thing that haunted his memories which he needed to face, which seem what was not his fault.
As all movies or TV series of this mythological character is centered by a demigod – half human and god – Hercules, son of Zeus. The first person I knew who played this character is Steve Reeves, from the Italian films from the 1950 to 1960 and these actors also played Hercules – Gordon Scott, Kirk Morris, Mickey Hargitay, Mark Forest, Alan Steel, Dan Vadis, Brad Harris, Reg Park, Peter Lupus (billed as Rock Stevens) and Michael Lane. Steve Reeves was the best actor for Hercules and still is for me(even though he died in 2000). The others were good for their parts. Kevin Sorbo in the Hercules TV Series was okay in his role. I liked Dwayne Johnson’s version better than the others. It also felt like I was watching the old Italian movie with Steve Reeves – almost. I can’t compare the two movies at all but say one thing – they seemed to complement each other.
Even though this was like a remake of the 1958 film but it was not the same – different. Where? Well like all legends of Hercules, each story points are almost the same but each writer who wrote the screenplay shows it differently. The movie Directors direct it to their vision with the screenwriters and even though the Hercules I remember showed all the labors through the movie until the last; this movie showed it all the eleven in a few seconds and his last labor was the Cerberus – a three head dog. This was the haunting dream of Hercules where his wife and his children dies – thinking he killed them. This is what was his last labor was about.
The wild creatures and Bandits were considered as centaurs – half man and horse. But of course this movie dispels such creatures as fake unlike the first movie I watched. This was a movie that is as close to fact if there was a real Hercules as a man. If we were to look at this movie as a real factual account then a man’s sheer strength can be seen as a falsehood if Hercules had a band of men and a woman. Of course, the way this movie portrayed the story is very excellent in such a way that it may look like Hercules was a son of a god. Oh his band of friends, Hercules save them from dangers we know nothing about them(just that the characters say it). Then there was a part in the movie where Hercules pushes a giant statute down the stairs in the advancing King’s army who he trained. If that is only the sheer strength of a man then we must come to the conclusion if he really was a son of Zeus.
This seems to me that fact or myth; is it possible for a man to push a statute at two-storey house or more tall to be pushed by a single man. Can a mere man push that much tonne of rock? Sheer strength and will power is possible … but not a marble rock statue. All I know is this and by this I mean in my own thoughts; this movie is up to the viewer to sort out whether to watch it or not. I liked this movie because it showed that myth can be false at times and may be true as well. This movie also shows that soothsayers can be wrong as well but they can also be a help when they are needed.
It show fact as truth and myths as false but some of these facts and myths seemed to be the other way round; eg, centaurs were really men on horseback. Another example is the Cerberus is really three hungry wolves. Hercules as the man is the only thing that I found to be something to wonder about. Was he real or myth? That is a question mixed in mythology. I must say I really enjoyed this movie to the action and almost mythological atmosphere that portrays well. ♠♠♠½