Culture Magazine

Movie Review – Hercules (2014)

By Manofyesterday

Director: Brett Ratner

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Tobias Santelmann, Reece Ritchie, Peter Mullan

Based on a graphic novel, Hercules aims to put a twist on the tale of the legend. Hercules (Johnson) is now a mercenary and gets commissioned to forge an army out of farmers, but as an evil scheme gets revealed he has to discover the hero within.

I love Greek mythology and I’m a big fan of The Rock, and he’s pretty much the best thing about this movie. The film wastes no time in getting through the labours, and then seeks to put a new twist by saying that Hercules had help, and he mostly uses his reputation as armor and a way to intimidate his enemies. I like this concept as it shows how powerful a story can be, and I particularly enjoyed the storyteller Iolaus (Ritchie), as even though he wasn’t taking part in combat he actually had an integral role.

But the main conceit of the film is that the truth is more compelling than the legend, and this simply isn’t the case. The plot is generic and predictable. Character beats are obvious. There are battle scenes where our heroes mow down a bunch of bland enemies and it’s just all rather flat. It hints at a greater meaning to the myth but doesn’t do anything with that, and all in all I think seeing the labours would have been for more exciting. I’d even have preferred if the story was the story of Hercules’ labours but with the aid of the characters in this film instead of the boring story they came up with.

A pass on this one I think. There’s really not much here. Johnson’s charisma is wasted in this lifeless film.

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