<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Brett Ratner, Starring Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Tobias Santelmann, Peter Mullan
How come they just can’t get Hercules right? The last one, The Legend of Hercules was powerfully horrible. This Hercules is infinitely better but still manages to be just an average, run-of-the-mill film.
The only man left after Arnold Schwarzenegger (Hercules In New York) who comes close to our perception of what Hercules would look like, The Rock was the perfect choice for the role. His charm, warmth and affable big guy persona strikes a good balance.
In this new telling of Hercules where they spell out the legend for you like you were a child, we find that the son of Zeus (the Zues, they emphasise in the voiceover) is actually more human than you would think. In fact, he has a band of heroes who help him along with his paid-for quests and over the years his ‘legend’ grows just like any other legend that has its basis in reality.
Our mercenary Hercules has gone through some personal tribulations with his wife and three children being murdered. Now he has been hired by Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to protect his kingdom from marauding ‘Centaurs’. So he trains an army and does battle in less-than-epic fashion.
However, something dark and treacherous twists the plots a bit.
Not-so-great filmmaker Brett Ratner has an interesting concept to work with: a human Hercules who is funny. But apart from a few witty lines here and there the premise is squandered.
All the actors seem to be good performers so it’s not their fault if Hercules never quite comes together. And the 3D doesn’t make anything look much better. When will we see a truly great battle scene and rousing speech like the one Mel Gibson delivered in Braveheart? So many films including this one have tried and failed miserably.