Thursday, 18 September 2014

Hercules (2014)

Hercules (2014 film).jpgRock and Brawl

Director: Brett Ratner
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie

Of the two Hercules films released in 2014, it's clear this Brett Ratner/Dwayne Johnson effort is the victor, but considering how mediocre this effort is, it's a hollow victory.

Based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, the film follows the lead character and his band of mercenaries who are hired to help defeat a tyrannical warlord.

This tale of the Greek demigod stands out thanks to an interesting twist in the legend of the character. His history of being the son of Zeus, his Twelve Labours, are all fabrications. Lies that have been concocted to spread fear amongst the enemies he faces, and build up a legend. It's a great take on the character that makes it more than just another retelling of the same story we've already seen.

But despite this premise, screenwriters Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos cannot make the story anything but generic, just as Brett Ratner fails to make scenes of action into much more than a dull time-waster.

"LOOK AT MY MUSCLES!!!!!"

Dwayne Johnson proves to be charming in the lead role, giving a guileless and good natured performance that you can't help but be drawn into. None of the remaining cast manage to stand out, but their performances are notable enough to be considered good.

While the lead character is given a good amount of characterization and personality, the band of mercenaries he travels with are unfortunate in this regard. They're a tedious bunch who lack personality, while Aksel Hennie has nothing of consequence to do, unless running at warriors somehow counts.

Hercules gets by on its performances, especially from Dwayne Johnson's ever-so charming self. It's just a shame the weak writing fails to live up to the interesting premise, and the action remains a dull watch.

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