Did Dwayne Johnson drop “the Rock” from all of the promotional material for Hercules because he figured he’d banked millions enough of box-office dollars to finally put to bed his wrestling persona in the milieu of cinema, or did he drop “the Rock” because he knew this movie was going to be pretty mediocre and he didn’t want to tarnish his brand with it?

I love the man. He’s as charismatic as he is handsome, and he is very very handsome, as my wife will be happy to explain to you in detail. He’s been great in movie after movie, and in surprising parts. He is a man who made his name on elbow drops and side slams, but plays quiet better than bombast.

He’s not great in Hercules, though. It’s baffling. It seems like a good fit, but it’s not. He has too many “rally the troops” speeches and he doesn’t carry them off. He shouldn’t have any at all. They’ve written a strange movie about Hercules the general and commander of troops, not Hercules the brute who wrestles animals. They undercut all of the larger-than-life aspects of the mythical character and also all of the tragic aspects of him, to make a character whose only real trait is strength. Hercules in the movie is still unbelievably strong, but otherwise he’s just a nice guy.

There’s a good Hercules movie featuring Dwayne Johnson out there, but it isn’t this odd story. It’s just a mediocre movie.

It also feels like they shot an R movie and then cut it down to PG-13, but I don’t think that’s the problem.

Anyway, Hercules: Don’t Bother

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