Myths & May: Hercules (2014)
Hercules released in 2014 stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This is the second Hercules movie I’ve watched today and I don’t know if I’ll end up burnt out on films based on his legends. Hercules is actually based on the comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars written by Steve Moore who is of no relation to Alan Moore who is also a comic writer. In fact Steve Moore helped Alan learn how to write comic scripts.
Hercules is a beautiful film, and it feels like a comic brought to life which it is. Hercules played by The Rock is accompanied by a band of loyal warriors and is haunted by a murky past. He is now a mercenary working for those who give him the most gold. His many labors are recanted by his cousin in elaborate stories. His labors are of mythical proportions but all have earthly explanations. He is hired by Lord Cotys played by John Hurt who you may know as Kane from Alien (1979). After training Cotys’ forces for a battle for Thrace, things turn to be not at all what they seem.
John Hurt as Lord Cotys
This movie accomplishes bringing Hercules to the big screen in a fun, stylish, and competent way. If one longs for a perfect modern entry into the sword and sandals genre they may find it in this film. Hercules may not be all about Hercules and his many labors as the Italian films from the 50’s and 60’s were it is still a worthy successor to them. The Rock commands attention from the beginning of the film to the end. His band of warriors are also portrayed well by the actors who play them. Of them Tydeus played by Aksel Hennie is my favorite. Aksel Hennie is a Norwegian actor who played Max Manus in the film Max Manus: Man of War. I am very invested in foreign cinema and Max Manus was a lot of fun. I would also be remiss not to point out that the executioner in the latter half of the movie is played by Robert Maillet, the former WWE wrestler Kurrgan, turned actor. Hercules works perfectly as a popcorn movie and should be in everyone who is a fan of the theatrical output of The Rock’s collection.
Aksel Hennie as Tydeus
Kurrgan as the executioner among prisoners