A Brett Ratner directed action film is not something that fills me with confidence, as anyone else who watched X-Men: The Last Stand will surely attest. I wasn’t expecting much as the lights dimmed.
After completing the legendary 12 labours Dwayne Johnson’s titular character travels the lands as the leader of a mercenary gang, who do nothing to disprove and everything to further the myth surrounding this giant of a man. This lifestyle is challenged however when King Cotys of Thrace offers the group a fortune to protect the kingdom from bloodthirsty warlord Rheseus.
I’ve never found The Rock to be the problem in any of the terrible films he has starred in; his screen presence and likeable nature making him an endearing hero. Here he provides more of the same, and though I would be remiss not to mention just how impressive the results of his (herculean?) efforts in the gym are it isn’t all he brings to the table. Besides, how can you argue with someone who manages to pull off wearing a lion’s head as head wear?
It’s not just Johnson who entertains though, with his group of mercenaries providing the majority of the laughs as they maintain his legend with a mixture of skill, strength and silver tongue.
As entertaining as they are however the story itself is extremely predictable, with characters actions and fates crystal clear long before the conclusion. It’s nothing we haven’t seen countless times before but for the most part the cast carry the burden well and it moves along at a brisk enough pace that you’re not left to pick holes in it.
Cleverly deconstructing the myth of Hercules whilst enforcing the idea that belief that can be more powerful than reality; Hercules contains plenty of humour, action and an expectedly charismatic performance from an ably supported Johnson. I didn’t think I’d enjoy Hercules at all, and I left the cinema pleasantly surprised. It may not be particularly memorable but it was entertaining and inoffensive. Sometimes that’s all you need.