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Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to July

“HERCULES”

Who: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes
What: Having endured his legendary 12 labors, Hercules has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace seeks his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
When: July 25th
Why: It’s actually quite surprising that someone hasn’t tried making a Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson sooner, because it’s a role that he was born to play. But perhaps it’s a good thing that Hollywood waited until now, if only to get the bad taste of “Legend of Hercules” out of our mouths. Whereas that film featured a pale imitation of the Greek hero, Brett Ratner’s version appears to follow the classic mythology a little more closely. Ratner may not have the best track record, and the script was co-written by a guy whose previous credits include a bunch of direct-to-video Disney movies, but don’t be fooled by any of that, because the success of “Hercules” hinges completely on its charismatic leading man.

“LUCY”

Who: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton, Min-sik Choi
What: A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
When: July 25th
Why: Luc Besson’s films are generally pretty hit and miss, but despite its far-fetched concept, “Lucy” looks like it could be one of his more entertaining action movies, both as a writer and director. Though he’s dabbled in science fiction before, most recently with the prison break thriller “Lockout,” Besson’s latest sounds like a fun mash-up between “La Femme Nikita” and Neil Burger’s “Limitless.” Scarlett Johansson has already shown that she makes a great action hero with her turn as Black Widow in the Marvel movies, while Morgan Freeman always adds a touch of class in everything he does. And with his “Taken” series nearing its end and a “Transporter” reboot in the works, “Lucy” could be the start of Besson’s next action franchise.

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