Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection/Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
This weekend, you have two choices in the way of fantastical, action-packed blockbusters. On the one hand, you have something from the old stockyards: Brett Ratner’s Hercules, a light-hearted take on the Ancient Greek myth about the epitome of alpha-male machismo (with, appropriately, Dwayne Johnson playing the lead). On the other, we have something rather new: the limit-pushing Lucy, which draws ideas from the most progressive of quantum theories and packs them into a Scarlett Johansson shoot-’em-up. Surely there is room enough in our summer movie schedule for these heroes of past and future glory, respectively. But when faced off against one another, which comes out the champion?
POWERS AND ABILITIES
Hercules’ super strength, while mighty impressive in its own right, pales in comparison to everything Lucy’s got going on in her rapidly evolving brain. Things kick off with simple tricks like mind-reading and telekinesis… but pretty soon (without spoiling anything), Lucy’s abilities get far more expansive.
We never really get to know much about Lucy. She likes her club music and loves her mom, but what else do we have to sink our teeth into? But there’s no anonymity with Hercules, with whom we’re all familiar enough thanks to our sixth grade English teachers.
The Rock has charisma, sure, and sold a few laughs in Michael Bay’s supreme Pain & Gain. But Johansson is a bona fide actor, capable of charm and chills alike. Although she’s not giving a performance at the caliber of Lost in Translation or Her in Lucy, she’s still adept in every sequence.
Hercules is all about believing in yourself, standing up for what’s right, sticking by your friends, making your own destiny… all that . Lucy is essentially about the meaninglessness of human existence. Less fun.
BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS
Even with the benefit of its familiar source material and likable central star, Hercules is predicted to suffer at the hands of ScarJo’s Lucy.
MOST IMPORTANLY, HOW ARE THE MOVIES?
Both good, neither great. We’d give Lucy the edge for originality and Luc Besson’s superior visual flair, although Hercules‘ spirit is indelibly more inviting. Check out our reviews for Hercules and Lucy, and sound off below with your own votes.