15 Reasons Why The Rock's Hercules Will Never Top Ryan Gosling's Young Hercules - Vanity Fair - 2014 (July 24)

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15 Reasons Why The Rock's Hercules Will Never Top Ryan Gosling's Young Hercules

  • Posted July 24, 2014 1:06 PM by Joanna Robinson

This weekend Brett Ratner’s bombastic version of Hercules, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, opens in theaters, and we have to wonder why. It’s not that the Rock seems ill-suited to play the son of Zeus. Frankly, draped in that Nemean lion pelt, the man is giving off fabulous shades of Tilda Swinton.


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But why even make a Hercules film at all when we already have the perfect version of that hero? (Sorry, Sorbo, not you.) I’m talking, of course, of the classic 1998 series Young Hercules, starring one Ryan Gosling as the mighty Herc. Though the show only ran for one season (with a mind-boggling 50 episodes), it’s place in the mythological adaptation pantheon should not be overlooked. In fact, we doubt the Rock will be able to emerge from under the long shadow this series casts. Don’t believe us? Take a look.


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Reason #1: Because of the Deep Commitment to Mythology


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Reason #2: And the Harrowing Fight Scenes


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Reason #3: Because of Ryan Gosling’s Bulging Physique


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Reason #4: And the Eye-Popping Visual Effects


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Reason #5: Because of the Subtle Political Messages


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Reason #6: And the Snappy Banter


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Reason #7: Because of Gosling’s Chameleonic Commitment to His Role


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Reason #8: And the Educational Look at the Language of Ancient Greece


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Reason #9: Because Young Hercules Knew When to Walk Away


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Reason #10: And When to Run


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Reason #11: Did We Mention the Snappy Banter?


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Reason #12: And the Subtle and Nuanced Villains


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Reason #13: Because of the Abundance of Period-Accurate Clothing


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Reason #14: And Lack Thereof


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Reason #15: So Best of Luck to The Rock. He’s Going to Need It.