Brett Ratner’s Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-starring “Hercules” is a film in the old school Saturday afternoon matinee style that doesn’t try to pretend to be anything more than it is. It’s a competently made, undemanding action adventure movie with decent special effects and a script full of quips and one-liners, and that’s just fine with me.
The film begins with Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), the demigod son of Zeus having completed his legendary twelve labours some time ago only to be betrayed by Hera who drove him to madness, causing him to kill his wife and family. Rejecting his demigod status because of his guilt, Hercules has chosen to live as a mortal and now leads a band of mercenaries. When he and his band are offered their weight in gold to help train King Cotys’ (John Hurt) Thracian army, they eagerly accept but once it becomes clear that King Cotys may have a hidden agenda, Hercules must choose whether or not to embrace his destiny and use his power to put things right.
Johnson’s on screen charisma is undeniable by now, but there’s a surprising amount of quality star power in the supporting cast. Either Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and John Hurt read the wrong script or, more likely, saw it as a chance to have a lark and make a bit of cash in a 1980’s Michael Caine stylee. Whichever it was, everyone delivers decent work and makes this a fun and enjoyable movie.
Generally okay for older children, there is one use of the F word and whilst used to good effect, getting the intended laugh, the film would have been fine without it.
Guest Review by @Darrenski