The biggest thing to take away from “Hercules” is that it does not completely suck.
I was dreading a long and obnoxious introduction of how the hero came to be who he is, but instead was surprised by the 5 minute intro neatly summing up the important stuff. The quality which separates this action flick from other similar ones or Hercules adaptations is the fact that it takes the over the top mythology of Hercules and tries to put a realistic spin onto it. So instead of Hercules being a one man army who battled gods and monsters to save innocent people, he was actually just a really strong dude (AKA The Rock) who traveled in a band of other skilled mercenaries who killed on a by need basis for gold. This is refreshing against the back drop of righteous warriors battling evil to save humanity theme.
As for the meat of the film, all I will say is that the hook and twist of the story is interesting enough to warrant a full viewing. John Hurt as Lord Cotys shines out as the better performance of the film. Dwayne Johnson and his band of mercenaries give decent performances as a whole, and there isn’t much to complain about with their roles; but there is nothing special about them either. They are entertaining and actiony characters that warrant an occasional chuckle, and little more than that.
For all of those surprisingly decent things, “Hercules” is still an incredibly average flick. It’s mostly just mindless hack and slash, albeit entertaining as such. The depth of the film is minimal, and there is little that would be considered memorable about it. The single greatest element to add on all of that is that the movie doesn’t try to pretend like it is anything more than that. It is still the stereotypical action summer movie. It just happens to avoid making you regret the ticket purchase.