Sunday, 3 August 2014

Film Review - Hercules

It’s all Greek, Again
Film: Hercules
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt Ian McShane
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Duration: 1 hr 35 mins
Rating: * * 

At the outset I must confess that I’ve had enough of these Greek and Roman Gods in films. In the last few years there have a spate of films featuring Zeus, Thor, Hades, Poseidon their relatives, near and far ones. It’s time to give them and the audience a break.

Since creative lethargy has set in Hollywood, every character in history and Greek, Roman and Norse mythology is being dished out. This time it is Hercules and director Brett Ratner has made crowd pleasers like Rush Hour, this time he revisits the legend of the Greek demigod. 

The film borrows from the comic book by Steve Moore. Hercules as we know is the son of Zeus who took on the Nemean lion and also killed the water serpent Hydra. Here, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is a mercenary who along with his mini army of friends help  to defend the Kingdom of Thrace.  Stories about Hercules’  bravery are floating around but they are mostly used to propagate his legend.

There is plenty of action and some twists and turns as well, but they are all labored. The climax manages to pull things back a bit so at least the ending is not as drab as the rest of the film. The 3D uses age old tricks of dangling swords and spears in front of the audience for effect. 

While the comic book adaptation tries to give some brief background to the characters (Hercules’ family for instance) but that doesn’t contribute much to the proceedings.

Dwayne Johnson may not be the most talented actor around but since he is sincere, there is something likable about him. With his presence Hercules is tolerable, else it would have been a disaster. 

Published in The Navhind Times on 3rd Aug 2014 

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