Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hercules (2014)

Released July 25th, 2014
1 hr 38 mins
Rated PG-13


Director: Brett Ratner


Dwayne Johnson as Hercules
John Hurt as Cotys, King of Thrace
Rufus Sewell as Autolycus
Ian McShane as Amphiaraus
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta
Aksel Hennie as Tydeus
Reece Ritchie as Iolaus
Rebecca Ferguson as Ergenia
Joseph Fiennes as King Eurystheus
Steve Peacocke as Stephanos
Peter Mullan

Irina Shayk as Megara
Joe Anderson
Tamina Snuka
Barbara Palvin as Antimache
Tobias Santelmann as Rhesus

Review by Stephen M.

I finally had a chance to see Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson as the lead role of Hercules.  The movie wasn't what I was quite expecting but enjoyed it overall nonetheless.  Director Brett Ratner and the filmmakers put an interesting twist on the classic lore of Hercules, making him more man than God.  But despite his mercenary background and less than truthful accomplishments, the hero naturally comes out of him.  He is after all Hercules, or is he?

As the movie starts off, we see Hercules performing all these miraculous deeds, or labors that he is known for.  Such as defeating the Hydra and Nemean Lion, the latter with his bear hands.  But as the story shifts, we see that these are all stories told by Hercules's nephew who likes to embellish his uncle's tales to bring fear to his enemies he is about to battle.  As a matter of fact, Hercules is a mercenary with a band of warriors each joining him partly as repaying a debt for him helping them in his journey.  It is these characters, that really make the film greater than it should be given Dwayne's lackluster performance in the film.

The two in his party that stood out the most is Deadwood veteran, Ian McShane as Amphiaraus and Norweigian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta.  The latter you would have seen as the witch in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.  Amphiaraus, part seer, part warrior steals the show with his many hilarious scenes in which he expects his own death.  Atalanta is not your typical supporting female character, oozing toughness without being overly sexual at the same time.  Also memorable are John Hurt as Cotys, King of Thrace, and Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, Hercules's nephew.

Overall, I would recommend catching this film, if at least as a matinee.  It is much more entertaining than this year's earlier Hercules's entry "The Legend of Hercules," which wasn't too difficult.  Dwayne Johnson though like Kellan Lutz in their respective Hercules movies are quite stiff in their line deliveries.  Instead of seeing Hercules, you see the actors playing the character, if you get my drift.  Still, there is enough to like in this film to enjoy with the witty jokes and action scenes to go watch it on the big screen.  With the way the movie is set up and how it's being beat by Lucy, I would be surprise if there was a sequel though.


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