Dwayne Johnson is, without a doubt, one of the most loved actors in this world today. He's a gifted man. Over the years, he has come in and breathed new life into many franchises that, otherwise, were on the edge of doom (Journey, Fast and Furious). But, he could possibly now have his own franchise in his hands, as the might god we all know as Hercules.
We all, of course, know Hercules as the all-singing, all-dancing 1997 animation from Disney. We've had lots of other takes on the demi-god's story, over the years, but none have ever really stuck out. Don't even get me started on The Legend of Hercules, that released earlier this year. That brought a whole new meaning to the word horrible. However, this Hercules is an atypical Hercules film and one that looks to bring the action and the adventure to make a rather decent telling of the titular character's legend.
Based on the popular graphic novel by Steve Moore, Brett Ratner's Hercules (isn't that a bittersweet title) aims at showing us the real Hercules and telling us his story; as a man and not a hero. But it's not a plot heavy, story driven film. Far from it. This is buckets of fun packed into 90 minutes.
As I've mentioned, Johnson plays the titular hero who has complete all but one legendary tasks. He has built himself a neat reputation as a legendary superhuman. As a mercenary that works for a handsome wage, he is called upon by Lord Cotys (a fuzzy beard with John Hurt attached). Cotys wants Hercules' help defeating a maniacal and super deadly warlord and his ugly team, risen from the dead (descendants of Hades). So, Hercules sets out to train and ready an entire army for battle but, with such a monumental task on hand things are, of course, going to get problematic... even for our eponymous lead.
Johnson is a funny guy. He has managed to implement humour into the darkest of places at times (Pain and Gain) and make it work. He always bring a certain wit to his projects and the same applies for Hercules. Whilst not as humorous as you might have hoped, Dwayne still manages to charm and there is still plenty enjoyment to be had. The titular protagonist, with his audacious nature and boastful charisma, has a rich and alluring personality that, in contrast with his tedious might, can make for some amusing viewing. Johnson fits the role of Hercules perfectly and, let's not forget, brings a great performance to the table. He does fall back when empathy and emotion are required from his character but he makes up for this in his infallibility, making his character believable and enjoyable to watch. Although, his role can feel tedious and repititive at times but this probably falls down to the poor dialogue he, occasionally, gets slammed with. He also has some great support from the other cast members too.
The CG does not impress. When Hercules engages in combat against monsters it is very obvious that it is fake and made-up. However, luckily, Ratner places Johnson in a more real environment as we see him partake more in old school fighting with humans than sword slashing at horribly CG'ed beasts.
As far as plot is concerned, it is massively flawed and easily forgettable and, considering the whole film was building up to it, the finale is bland and OTT like crazy and really lets the film down.
The film comes with a 12A rating, which is pushed to it's boundaries by Ratner and his crew. Firstly, nudity isn't exactly a rare sight in this film and then we have F-bombs being dropped all over the place too!
With Hercules, Dwayne Johnson and Brett Ratner deliver fun, fast-paced action that will entertain but, ultimately, will be forgotten by the time you walk out the cinema.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.