Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Film Review: "Hercules" (2014).




"No matter how far you go, man cannot escape his fate. Who are you? Are you a murderer? Are you a mercenary who turns his back on the innocent? We believe in you! We have faith in you! Remember the deeds you have performed, the labors you have overcome! Are you only the legend, or are you truth behind the legend? Now, tell me, WHO ARE YOU?"
This questions is asked in Hercules. This 3D action fantasy adventure film directed by Brett Ratner; adapted by Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos; based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Fourteen hundred years BCE, a tormented soul walked the earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules was the powerful son of the god king Zeus, for this he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labours and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and presence of death. These men and women never question where they go to fight or why or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen when they must train an army to become as ruthless and blood thirsty as their reputation has become.

It stars Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell and John Hurt. The cast gave impressive performances, but one could not help feeling most of the time it was nothing but one big "gun show" ensemble full of hulking behemoths. Especially in the case of Dwayne Johnson. To prepare for the role, Johnson took on a grueling training routine, stating: "I trained and worked harder than ever for 8 months for this role. Lived alone and locked myself away (like a moody 260-lb. monk) in Budapest for 6 months while filming. Goal was to completely transform into this character. Disappear in the role. Press journalist asked me today, with the mental and physical toll the role had on me, would I do it again? Not only would I do it again...I'd do it fucking twice."

'Hollywood-looking', poorly acted, and dull, Hercules is neither fun enough to qualify as an action movie nor absorbing enough to work on a dramatic level. Essentially a Monday Night Raw episode with mythological dressing. There's nothing here to engage the viewer or make them care one iota about what's occurring on the screen, making it no wonder that this got dumped into theaters in the middle of the Summer season. No one seems to have high hopes for it - though it might well help to pass a wet afternoon when it shows up on TV 15 minutes from now. It may not track, but Ratner still knows how to set up a rousing circus.

Simon says Hercules receives:


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