Looking for the ‘best’ Hercules movies doesn’t turn up much apart from those movies that people have already stated weren’t that good to begin with. That leaves one to think that the legend of Hercules is one that is best bound within the books and tales that have been told of the demigod for so long. But in truth the effects used in these movies weren’t bad, and the acting wasn’t always as horrible as people might say. If anything the stories were muddled to the point of obscurity by the act of not focusing on any one thing that could have been called a cohesive plot. It’s arguable between those that want to think that the movies are worth something, but in truth each one of these movies could have been big hits had they been given a better chance to develop and possibly move along in a more reasonable manner. The way things stand now, well, it’s a bit too easy to see why they were reviled by so many. But they’re still the best we’ve got.
Here are the best Hercules movies to be found.
5. Hercules Reborn
How do you depict Hercules as someone other than a muscular bruiser that can smash like the Hulk and act savage like Conan the Barbarian? You get John Hennigan to fill in for the role since he’s not only jacked up beyond belief, but the guy can also incorporate parkour, martial arts, and his gymnastics background into the mix as well. It might not seem like Hercules would be the kind of guy that would utilize such high-risk maneuvers in the stories, but it definitely grants this hero a new look and style that seems to make it a little more dynamic and interesting to watch. The story is fairly simple as Hercules is sought out to bring down an evil king, you know, hero stuff.
4. Hercules in New York
It’s appropriate that this was lauded as a comedy since quite honestly that’s about all it could be since Hercules was sent to earth after being disobedient and kind of whining like a child because he wanted to see what it was like. After irritating his father with his antics Hercules comes close to losing his life to a mortal, which Zeus steps in to prevent, and then eventually returns home. As one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first big movies in the USA this was something that was kind of odd in a way but still gets remembered by a few people since it happens to be something that shows him in his early days before the Terminator and other big movies.
3. The Legend of Hercules
The main problem with this movie is that it seemed to drag and then hurry up in spurts, as though it had put itself to sleep and then woke only to realize it was several steps behind. The effects are about all that kept it at this spot on the list, since those are well done enough that it couldn’t drop any lower without feeling guilty. But overall this story wasn’t the most horrible ever told, though it could have been better since the false starts and the constant stops here and there were just frustrating enough that it might be possible to get up, go refill your popcorn, come back, and be able to pick up right where you left off no matter how much time had passed.
2. Hercules (2014)
This was supposed to be THE Hercules movie that would trump them all because Dwayne Johnson was on a roll with his career and seemingly nothing could stop him. Well, something did, and it was the lackluster story development that seemed to slow down way too much and didn’t bother to pick itself up before the action was forced to start again. There was a bit of comedy in this one, some funny moments, and Ian McShane was great in his part since he knows how to hit his mark consistently and make his role something that you’ll remember. But despite all the faults this movie might have, it was still fun for part of it.
1. Hercules (1997)
In the theater this was honestly pretty amusing since it didn’t take itself too seriously and it kept to the animated feel of the feature beautifully. Of course it was kind of silly in parts, that was one of the main points since it was a cartoon. Plus the idea of Danny DeVito and James Woods voicing two of the most influential characters was great, and hearing Bobcat Goldthwait as one of the henchmen was an absolute pleasure. By the end of the movie you had a good feeling that the original story might never have bestowed upon you, and a lot of people walked out of the theater feeling satisfied.
Yes, an animated version of Hercules put a lot of the rest to shame.