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Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Dwayne Johnson; John Hurt.
Plot: Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
Brett Ratner, most famed for his dismantling of the X-Men trilogy with his attempt at filming X-Men: The Last Stand, has a new movie out –Hercules. With that in mind, and a whole bunch of CGI action sequences to add to the mix, it wasn’t too far fetched to expect this particular Hercules movie to bomb at the Box Office. And, as of August 13th 2014, it has; grossing only $65million of its $100million production budget back in its first two and a half weeks in cinemas. Even The Rock with hair couldn’t save this one.
But, was it good?
Well, the short answer to that would be “no”, so don’t bother going to see Hercules if you’re expecting a realistic depiction of the Greek myth, or an epic tale of a hero we can all look up to. It is not that film, nor is it an Oscar-worthy epic. But, when a film stars The Rock, I’m pretty sure nobody expects that, do they?
Hercules is honest with what its presenting from the moment we are introduced to the picture. It’s like the filmmakers are telling the audience: “We’re going to give you a camp, 1980’s-style action flick with The Rock”. And, as so, they don’t disappoint. That’s why, in this reviewers opinion,Hercules (2014) was a worthwhile watch filled with enough cheesy lines, blood, and comedy, to be worth the price of admission. As far as cheesy action movies go these days, Hercules was at least brave enough to not take itself seriously, so credit to them for that.
One aspect of the story that quickly transformed the preconceived ideas of this movie was that this particular Hercules character was a mercenary working alongside a team of assassins (for want of a better term) who would make him look like a God in battle by ensuring that particular tricks or visual illusions would encourage others to believe he had the power of a demi-God. This Hercules was driven by his lust for Gold, and supported by equally as questionable characters, ensuring that the audience had no time to confuse this film with the more serious Hercules movies. This helped me (at least) to overcome the silliness of the before-their-time battle tactics and attires, the sometimes stupid looking death scenes and the camp and obvious soundbites, to enjoy this film for what it was – fun.
So, if you have any interest in Dwayne Johnson movies or 80s action classics, then this is the movie for you. If you’re looking for something along the lines of Gladiator (2000), then look elsewhere. This one’s camp and ridiculous, but enjoyable all the same.