For some fun and brawn

For some fun and brawn

English (U/A) ¬¬¬
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Berdal, Reece Ritchie and others
Director: Brett Ratner

The second film based on the mythical demi-god released this year, Ratner’s Hercules makes for a much better watch than January’s big flop, The Legend of Hercules.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (half-black and half-Samaon) is the film’s trump card and plays the lead role with gusto. Just as Schwarzenegger was the perfect fit for Conan the Barbarian (1982), “The Rock” makes you forget if Hercules had to necessarily be a Caucasian!

With a straightforward plot and applying a successful formula, common to many fantasy/action films (Conan the Barbarian, The Scorpion King) where the hero and his ragtag bunch are pitted against a stronger foe, the film begins after Hercules has finished the twelve tasks. Hercules and his companions — a prophet (Mcshane), a thief (Sewell), a feral warrior (Hennie) a female archer (Berdal) and finally a storyteller (Ritchie) — agree to Ergenia (Ferguson)’s offer to train the armies of Thrace, in exchange for gold.

Hercules isn’t without flaws and looks like an extended episode of the popular 1995 TV series (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys). The CGI is average, with awkward dialogue and amateurish acting. Johnson excels in the action, thanks to his massive build and his past as a wrestler. However, when it comes to emotions and depth, Johnson is a failure, a pity because when Ergenia, the damsel in distress needs support, Hercules is busy swinging his sword!

Fortunately for Johnson fans, there’s loads of action and little of the latter. Ratner avoids dated technique, such as post-300, speed-up and slow-mo action style and keeps the action as natural as the viewer would like. Hercules is more for the fun and fights and not to be taken seriously.

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