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In theaters July 25, 2014

This year alone there have been two different theatrical releases. The simply titled, Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson is the latter of the two. The old saying goes: “save the best for last.”

Hercules starts of with a narration of several heroic tales that are accompanied by visuals of Hercules’ amazing feats. He battles creatures that are like none you’d ever see at a zoo. In each battle he is victorious due to his superior godlike strength and unwavering confidence. From there we jump right into the story where we quickly find out this version of Hercules is not quite the legend that we’ve been promised. As it turns out he has a few tricks up his sleeves (figuratively speaking of course, because I don’t know if he even owns a shirt. This dude is all shoulders and biceps). He travels with a handful of companions who fight with him to help overcome insurmountable odds, which only adds to his legendary lore.

The brazen approach by director Brett Ratner to knock the supposed son of Zeus down to a more relatable, or “normal” person, is exactly what Hercules needed to set itself apart from its predecessors. This adaptation ends up being more believable by today’s standards, and because of that, its much more enjoyable. The supporting cast lend a great helping hand as well. With veteran actors Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell and Joseph Fiennes on board, at no time is there a feeling of an all brawn, no brain type movie. Even the dialogue was quite enjoyable.

The special effects were enjoyable. The 3D was decent, but it is not an absolute necessity to fork out the extra money for the experience. Hercules is yet another fun summertime movie that should keep audiences entertained throughout, whether it be by action, comedy or even the fresh approach taken to the mythical character’s yarn. Dwayne Johnson does an admirable job and has come a long way since his wrestling days. If you only see one Hercules movie this year, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.

Hercules is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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