Film Review: Hercules

Hercules

Brett Ratner’s version of Hercules is an amusing action romp that distinguishes itself from previous versions of the myth.

Hercules has built up a fierce reputation by completing the legendary twelve labours. Hercules and his team of warriors are sought out by the King of Thrace, who requires help to defend his land and his people…

The most striking aspect of Hercules is how the film takes a well-known mythological character and places him in a plausible environment. Unlike previous version of the myth, Brett Ratner’s film eschews the fantastical elements of the Hercules story, positing him instead as a character that could have actually existed.

Based on Steve Moore’s graphic novel, Hercules offers a revisionist account of the myth. The supernatural aspects of his quests are explained in a plausible fashion, whilst even the protagonist himself makes light of some of the more exaggerated aspects of his feats. In this way, Hercules offers something different to previous cinematic adaptations.

The film follows fairly conventional action adventure tropes in terms of narrative and characters. The vein of humour that runs through the film is most welcome; this is a version of Hercules that can laugh at itself, to a certain extent. The comedy is a good fit for this non-supernatural account. Nevertheless, when the film makes attempts at gravitas, it can feel a little hollow.

Action in the film is good. Many of the scenes rely on the physicality of the actors, and in this respect Hercules is well cast. The set pieces are well executed in terms of scale, although some of the effects look less authentic. Dwayne Johnson makes a likeable hero, whilst John Hurt brings some gravity as Lord Cotys.

Hercules is perhaps not a definitive version of the myth. Although the film may not be as memorable as the legend itself, it is nevertheless an entertaining watch.

Stuff To Look At

A bumper post filled with trailers galore for the end of the week, featuring Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Nut Job and lots more…

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Cesar is such a badass. In this final trailer for the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes we are given more of an idea of the film’s narrative. But more importantly, apes on horses. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has big shoes to fill after the success of its predecessor Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but it looks up to the job, from this trailer at least. Rise of the Planet of the Apes hits the big screen on 17th July 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Here is the second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, which shows more action and drama compared to the comedy of the first trailer. It looks as if the film will continue Marvel’s run of hits. Even if the franchise isn’t as well-known as the Avengers sphere, people will go for the gun-wielding raccoon. Guardians of the Galaxy is out in UK cinemas on 31st July 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here is a new featurette for Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. The video focuses on Marky Mark’s character, but really everyone just wants to see the Transformers. Or the Dinobots. Tranformers: Age of Extinction is released on 5th July 2014.

Paddington

With the news that Colin Firth will no longer be voicing the bear, what will now become of Paddington? Who will the filmmakers find to voice the marmalade-swilling bear? Perhaps a Peruvian actor, for authenticity’s sake. In the mean time, here is the latest trailer for Paddington, set for release on 24th November 2014.

The Expendables 3

Expendables 3

Look at all this potent 1980s/90s magic right here. The Expendables 3 is loaded with action stars; Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas are just two of the new members to join the crew. Nevertheless, I was thinking that The Expendables 3 was missing something. And that is Brigitte Nielsen. Seriously, why isn’t Red Sonja in this? Anyway, The Expendables 3 hits UK screens on 14th August 2014. You can view the latest trailer here.

Penguins of Madagascar

The Penguins of Madagascar get their own spin-off movie of the same name. Featuring the vocal talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, the popular supporting characters take centre stage in this new film. I am liking the use of Kenny Loggins in the trailer. Penguins of Madagascar is scheduled for release in December 2014.

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 looks like it will be a good laugh. If I was constructing a robot, it would be for servitude purposes, not for fighting or crime solving, but each to their own. Big Hero 6 is set for release in UK cinemas in January 2015.

The Nut Job

The Nut Job is a new animated feature about a squirrel and his friends who go on a mission to break into a nut store. Nuts are great and that, but if you were going to all this effort, surely you would rob a chocolatiers? The Nut Job is released in UK cinemas on 1st August 2014.

Hercules

Hercules Poster

Dwayne Johnson’s muscle veins are pretty scary in this new poster for Hercules. Interestingly, there used to be a WWF (before it was WWE) wrestler called Hercules. I am sure this movie isn’t a biopic of his life. Hercules muscles his way into UK cinemas on 25th July 2014.

No Good Deed

Here is the trailer for thriller No Good Deed. Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, reminds viewers never to open the door to strangers. A fitting Halloween release, No Good Deed hits UK screens on 31st October 2014.

Home

Pig is a really good name for a cat. Home sees Jim Parsons (in voice) sounding like a very familiar character. Still, the film looks like it will be a lot of alien culture-clash fun. Home is scheduled for release in the UK on 27th March 2015.