Movie Review: HERCULES (2014)
Movies featuring Dwayne Johnson aren’t meant to be taken too seriously, but rather enjoyed as the fun adventure filled romp that they usually are. The same can be said of
, a pretty entertaining movie with unexpectedly decent performances and storytelling.
Blank Page Rating: 2 out of 5 Hydra Heads
From the graphically gorgeous ‘300’, to other mildly entertaining affairs like ‘Clash Of The Titans’ to the flat out disaster that was ‘Pompeii’, Greek and Roman times are a subject and setting used in films quite often. Hercules is also such a subject that countless films have been made on this character, including a ‘Young Hercules‘ series on Fox featuring a very young Ryan Gosling. However, Johnson’s more mature and seasoned Hercules in director Brett Ratner`s action entertainer is one of the best in recent times.
This version of Hercules is based on a Graphic Novel, focusing on a more unique angle of the figure’s story. Rather than a hero, the demigod is a mercenary, and the film centers around one job that makes Hercules confront a secret from his past, as his band of swords-for-hire happen upon a cause greater than themselves, which makes them grow a conscience. It’s an overdone plot with a fresh take on an old character.
The screenplay really toys with audience expectations from a movie such as this. The ‘legendary’ aspects Hercules’ story is used as plot device within the movie, explaining some things about the myth surrounding the demi-God. ‘Hercules’ is another movie that really suffers from a poor marketing campaign, which may have contributed to some of the audience being misled to what the movie is about. Accompanying Dwayne Johnson are some newbies as well as veteran actors playing his version of the merry men. Ian McShane is hilarious, providing most of the comic relief as a skilled warrior with a severely pessimistic outlook on his own life, given that he can see the future, or so he claims. John Hurt is delightful as the frail king who needs Hercules’ help in ridding his land of an evil warlord.
The performances are satisfactory and adequate enough for the film to be enjoyable and for every actor to play their respective parts with ease and contribute to the film’s over all story. Johnson’s growth as an actor shows with every role. Known for his all out and overdone mannerisms, this time around, Johnson shows a lot of restraint and more subtlety here, but the story still allows him to rage out in the action scenes. Speaking of which, the stunt work, while not being extraordinary, are innovative enough that it invokes ‘ooh’s and ‘ash’s from the audience, in an intentional manner.
‘Hercules’ accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is create a fun and enjoyable movie that delivers in action and adventure, with the most minimal of scoffs and clichés.