Directed by Brett Ratner, staring Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell and Ingrid Bolso Berdal. After facing his twelve trials, Hercules and his group of soldiers are hired by the King of Thrace to defend his land from a powerful warlord.
Films based in ancient Greece or mythological stories have a harder time then most to deliver a strong narrative. This is mainly due to the stories of these Demigods all being myths and so vivid in description with such mammoth tasks to complete that our imaginations run wild envisioning these creatures. So films such as The Immortals and another Hercules released at a similar time this one, only with Kellan Lutz as the lead, struggle to compete with our imaginations. Hercules does something particularly clever to try and overcome this adversary. By playing into the Myth aspect, they allow creates like centaurs to become real without heavily relying on the CGI.
This is a different Hercules to ones previously made, this is past his twelve trials which are shown at the start, but are played as a myth in order for him work as a warrior. Though this drives the narrative forward with success to an extent, the plot is still quite predictable though as this film is short it redeems itself by not dragging out a relatively short but entertaining story.
In terms of the script, they managed to develop them enough to make them an interesting and comedic at times element to the film. My only issue with them is the development of the woman, who they choose to put her in a rather small skirt which for practicality reasons does make sense. However when you look at the rest of the cast in skirts of longer length then you realise the sexist play at work.
Dwayne Johnson’s acting is, like most other actors, developing over time and while some wrestlers turned actors struggle to reach more then a heavy brooding action star or film, Johnson has managed to become a fairly dynamic actor. Though some scenes lack some real emotion from him, his sheer massive size is enough to convincingly play Hercules and perform some of the scenes more physical tasks.
OVERALL *** A good entertaining few hours with a different look and development on a well known story.
RECOMMENDATION – If, like myself, you are a fan of Dwayne Johnson then I recommend this to you, if nothing about this film peaks your interest then don’t feel pressured to watch, you won’t miss anything groundbreaking.