Sunday, August 10, 2014


Movie Name: Hercules
Year of Release: 2014
Director: Brett Ratner
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, Rebecca Ferguson, Joe Anderson, Nicholas Moss
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3

Director Brett Ratner is back, following "Tower Heist", his previous bid budget comedy that failed to get much traction (both with audiences and critics alike). "Hercules" follows the well known story of the mythological greek hero, son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. The film portrays Hercules as a mercenary hero, with a group of allies, who help those in need in exchange for a proper amount of money. His resourcefulness and good nature is tested when he is called upon the King of Thrace, to help out battle a formidable enemy. However things, like most of his own stories, are not what they seem.
Brett Ratner has made a career for himself directing films that range from comedies to family films, where the common denominator seems to be a need to please the largest crowd possible. "Hercules" again follows this formula - the film is all too pleasing, slick, with efficient visual effects that create a level of credibility that is expected in big budget Hollywood films these days, but without any edge. Whereas John Milius' "Conan" for instance, went for a visceral look where the violence felt present, this "Hercules" is anchored more in a realm of fantasy (almost like the similarly mediocre efforts that were Louis Leterrier's "Clash of the Titans" and Jonathan Liebesman's "Wrath of the Titans"). What ends up redeeming this film is the fantastic supporting cast that Brett Ratner managed to assemble, namely Ian McShane, John Hurt, Peter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, which give the film both it's humor and sense of menace. Visually the film benefits from the beautiful cinematography from Dante Spinotti, but the production design is a bit all over the place (the tapestry of sets that was built feels almost too fake for it's own good). This is a film that though not terrible, would benefit from a director with a distinct vision (for instance Tarsem Singh's "Immortals" is a good comparison), to elevate it from instant oblivion.