‘Hercules’: The Reviews Are In

What's all the sisyphus about?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has always wanted to play a superhero, and now, he finally has: the original superhero, Hercules, in his latest film incarnation. The new movie, directed by Brett Ratner, hits theaters today. But do the critics think he’s a Greek Hero, or just another Jerkules?

Its Scale Is Bigger Than Mount Olympus
“It’s a grandly staged, solidly entertaining, old-fashioned adventure movie that does something no other Hercules movie has quite done before: It cuts the mythical son of Zeus down to human size (or as human as you can get while still being played by Dwayne Johnson).” - Scott Foundas, Variety

The Cast Is Like A Pantheon Of Good Actors
“The classy cast also elevates the picture. Ian McShane gives a droll performance as a soothsayer who’s always surviving predictions of his own death. John Hurt is working in the glorious tradition of Claude Rains in The Adventures of Robin Hood while Joseph Fiennes is doing a Basil Rathbone as his venal confederate. As the one woman in the troupe of mercenaries, Ingrid Bolso Berdal wields a mean bow and arrow. Tobias Santelmann (star of the Norwegian Oscar nominee Kon-Tiki) has an imposing presence as Hercules’ antagonist-turned-ally.” - Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

Remember That Myth Where Hercules Threw A Horse?
“The script contains a handful of decent comic asides and there’s one great mid-battle moment where Herc throws a horse, but on the whole this is decidedly non-legendary.” - Tom Huddleston, Time Out

In Case You Were Worried, The Rock Is Hercules
“He is Hercules: hear him roar. Pec-oil supplies plummet as the great muscly hero of classical antiquity arrives on the big screen, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in glistening semi-nudity. Brett Ratner’s cheerfully ridiculous and entertaining film begins by saying that he is “the son of Zeus – the Zeus!” That’s in case there’s any confusion and someone blunders up to our hero mid-battle, and says how much they enjoyed his dad’s masterpiece The Cat in the Hat.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Come For The Action, Stay For The Action
“Hercules’ supposedly stirring speeches fall flat (this is also a script problem) and he lacks the acting range to effectively portray the many facets of this particular incarnation of the demi-god, especially the bits revolving around his tortured past and the metaphorical demons lurking in his metaphorical closet. In the action stakes though, Johnson nails it, and so does director Ratner. The battles are reasonably cool, particularly an opening stoush between the unskilled Thracian army and a horde of tattooed dudes who look like they should all be in metal bands.” - Matt Neal, The Standard

“Hercules” is in theaters now.

Writer/Editor at MTV News. You can follow him on Twitter, but not in real life because that would be weird.
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