Movie Review: Hercules
- Actor(s): Dwayne Johnson,
- Title: Hercules
- Director: Brett Ratner
- Type: Action
Early previews of Brett Ratner’s Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were less then flattering to the iconic Grecian odyssey. Nonetheless, this film is a true reminder that you cannot judge a movie by its trailer. Captivating graphics, great story telling, and boatloads of action will leave consumers more than satisfied...especially those who put up eighteen dollars for the Imax 3D experience.
Kevin Sorbo took on the role of Hercules in the mid 90s and truly made it his own. Sorbo’s Hercules had a great balance of humor, humility and vulnerability, which Made him loveable and relatable. Dwayne Johnson's portrayal of the Greek demi-god features similar elements but a renewed storyline makes you fall in love with the character all over again. Writers Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos put together a genius plot, which features Hercules as a word of mouth legend whose history as a demi god has been fallaciously created by hear say. Still, as human as Hercules is here, he still embodies the greatness of the gods and by the end of his journey he becomes a true epic hero. Johnson wears the trauma of his horrifying past flawlessly, neither feeling over done or under sold. You can see the pain in his eyes and hear the incompleteness in his voice. The pace of his characterization and the mystique put in place by this new storyline allow the audience to grow with Hercules throughout the movie. Well written twists only make the film more enjoyable as it goes on.
Dwayne Johnson's supporting cast of Ian McShane, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Rufus Sewell and Reece Ritchie, who play his Avenger like crew of sidekicks also up the ante. Watching Hercules accomplish impossible feats with the help of a pinpoint archer, a war driven psycho, a prophet, and a charismatic storyteller makes for remarkable battle scenes, with pinpoint choreography. The supporting cast was chosen perfectly as each actor and their character brings a different value to the story through their performances.
The artistic developers of this film may be the true stars of Hercules when it’s all said and done. The 3D effects are so overwhelmingly good that it disorients viewers early on. Besides showing off cool CGI tricks, all of the combat scenes look realistic but still impressive. Cinematography is at a premium throughout the film, and Ratner reminds us why he is a celebrated director.
By the end of the film the character of Hercules is given such great purpose and meaning you can't help but imagine what lies next for him. While the movie wasn’t an obvious set up for a multi movie franchise, it would be a shame if the producers didn’t offer seconds.
-Review by Gregory Calvaire