Hercules - Online Review

'it is difficult to deny that there is not a level of fun involved with watching The Rock prance around the place wearing a large cat on his head'

Though Brett Ratner's Hercules is not quite passable enough to call it a 'success' on any level, it is still difficult to deny that there is not a level of fun involved with watching The Rock prance around the place wearing a large cat on his head. Add in a level of humour that's quite becoming and some top level John Hurt scenery-chewing and you've got something that makes for a passable, if not terrific, piece of Friday night entertainment.

Two surprises abound here, for the better, starting with the script's humour, which initially threatens glibness before becoming actually rather good. 'Eat up', Rufus Sewell's Autolycus tells Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), the latter having been told that the group will be paid his weight in gold by new client Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson). That Hercules even takes on clients is the second part of this film's charm; aware of the fact that 'myths' are exactly that, this is somewhere near to a realist retelling of Greek legend. Hands up who expected that going in.

With the humour eventually mainly taken up by Ian McShane's death-obsessed Amphiaraus, the film trots along nicely of pace but ignorant of the elements that mark out better-than-OK Action films. At one point a motley band of Hercules' new army are outnumbered and ambushed by a race of green-tinged people. Cut to the very next scene, where somehow Hercules' army seems to number in the thousands. An about-turn late on is a decent idea, but is mangled by Ratner, who introduces it far too late in the day. The quality and tone deaf problems are typified right at the start, when the voiceover helpfully tells us that Hercules is the son of 'the Zeus', as opposed to that other one we were all expecting to turn up.

Of course, it's a minor point, but it is indicative of some of this film, which knows exactly what to do with Johnson (give him something light and with humour), gives it to him and then still manages to mess it up along the way. It's harmless and perfectly OK viewing, but don't expect a break-out 'this is better than it should be' production like, say, Welcome To The Jungle. All hopes for that level of Rock-ing are currently on San Andreas.




Hercules was playing on Netflix.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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