Thought I'd update everybody with a movie that I recently watche d- the new Hercules with the Rock. It's a surprisingly nuanced movie and does a lot to take the concept of Hercules to 'real life' Even more interesting is the fact that it's actually based on a comic book, so while there are certain comic book sensibilities (the difficult to hurt / kill heroes), it never steps too far out of reality to make it completely unbelievable.
I have to say, the trailers never did the movie justice. Watching the trailers, I figured that this was just another really bad Greek demi-god movie with some action scenes. Knowing Dwayne Johnson, it'd be pretty good action sequences but it just didn't make me thrilled to watch it.
However, since I had some time, I decided to watch it and I am glad I did. I have to put a spoiler alert now, since it's hard to talk about the movie any further without giving away some details that the trailers kept in the dark.
Firstly, and rather importantly, there are no gods. There are no mythical beings. There are super-human like abilities, but no more than what you'd expect to see in any action movie. Instead, Hercules is a normal mortal who is just really, really, really strong. His 'legend' is mostly good marketing.
In addition, the movie takes up where most of the legends end - with Hercules after he has killed his wife and children. Yes - Hercules killed his wife and children. I know, Disney never told you that, but it's a definite part of his legend.
Anyway, the movie focuses on Hercules after that bad spell, his actions and the comrades he has gained. His retinue is a ton of fun to watch too, though most don't have much of a storyline and are generally one-note characters. That's okay though, the two main characters that are focused on (Hercules and Amphiraus) are very well written and acted.
The action sequences are amazing, with the major battle sequences very well choreographed. The dull moments are taken up by the Rock's charm and the decent to great acting talents of the rest of the cast.
Overall, for an action movie, this is probably one of the best to have come out in 2014.