I’m a huge fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He revitalized the Fast and the Furious franchise, he made G.I. Joe bearable, and most movies he’s in tend to be at least decent. However in this latest outing Hercules directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X3: The Last Stand), I was a little hesitant about Johnson playing the iconic Greek hero.
The gist. Hercules (Johnson) has built up quite a reputation in Greece and is now working as a mercenary, when he gets hired by Cotys (John Hurt) to train his army and prepare them for battle against a raging army of supposed demons. Hercules isn’t alone though, he travels with a band of companions (most notably Ian McShane).
The large-scale battles are by far the highlight of this film. The fight sequences are awesome to watch and each companion steals the show in multiple moments.
Johnson is likeable in the role, but Ian McShane really nails it as an eccentric seer who is able to somewhat predict the future. He also kills it in the fight scenes (literally). The other companions are fine but pretty plain in the big picture.
What doesn’t work?
This movie is just slightly better than the Legend of Hercules movie that came out earlier this year with Kellen Lutz (review here). While Johnson pulls off the action scenes, he doesn’t always pull of the Greek hero aspect. He tries a faux-English accent for some of it, which is strange. Maybe so he didn’t stand out from his companions?
In terms of the story, I was hoping we would see Hercules complete his heroic tasks but most of these adventures are in the opening 5 minutes in a montage (showing little more than what we saw in the trailers). The rest of the movie is pretty mundane and boring in comparison. The few big action scenes are awesome but there’s too much between them.
The dialogue here is awful, with tons of stupid one-liners which had me literally shaking my head. If this had just been an hour-long battle set to music, this would have been a much better film.
This is a corny awfully written movie, just slightly better than the last Hercules movie to hit theaters. The action scenes are kind of cool but not worth the price of admission. I’d wait to rent it if I were you.