Movie Review: Hercules
The best thing about director Brett Ratner’s incarnation of Hercules, is that you don’t get the impression that it takes itself too seriously. It’s the most straight forward, surface level big budget blockbuster this summer and it almost plays like a parody of the sword and scandals genre. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnshon plays the title character, and if you lived under neath a rock your entire life you would probably think the muscles he’s sporting were no less computer generated than the many ancient colosseums he stands in.
Taking a refreshing left turn form the usual version of Hercules, this film depicts the hero as a mercenary whose more human than demi-god. His legend of adventures teased as mere embellishments to help him and his band of brothers charge premium for their sell sword services. The 12 labors? “A load of crap” if you let onlookers lucky enough to hear the tales tell it. Greece and its inhabitants are comically presented as more secular cynics than deity worshiping fanatics, which makes for the occasional funny dialogue when someone is denouncing the stories of mythical proportions wielded by Hercules’ nephew.
Taking components from blockbuster handbooks of yesteryear, the plot is a simple one. Short on exposition, Hercules’ refreshingly short 90 minute running time mostly consist of three major set pieces of obligatory combat and rally cries with The Rock executing feats of strength that only The Rock can do. Ever wanted to see a man flip a horse? well you get to know. Ever wanted to see a strong man bitch slap around three feral wolves? You get that here too. The supporting cast are all incredibly British which makes for some unintentional humour since The Rock’s accent is still as American as they come, but let’s be honest… no one should be walking into this movie expecting to see Gladiator.
Overall, if as a movie goer you’ve grown a bit weary of the “gloomy is the new sexy” approach to Hercules is a light, fun and surprisingly comedic blockbuster that offers equals amount of laughs, actions and slapstick that should entertain the demographics this movie blatantly panders to. The 3D effects are easy on the eyes and seeing The Rock on the IMAX screen makes his Goliath frame even bigger.
Is this the best blockbuster for the summer? No. But it definitely tries to be the most light-hearted which Mr. Rattner gets points for.