Hercules (12A)

Having endured the legendary twelve labours, you would have thought that Hercules would be living like a king. After all he’s a demi-god, isn’t he?

Well that’s what this movie puts into question.

Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels around ancient Greece cashing in on his expertise.

The muscly hero has a very particular set of skills, and no I don’t mean his everlasting supply of pec-oil. Hercules is stronger than any other man on the planet and uses his legendary reputation to intimidate his enemies, which earns him a bucket-load of gold.

When the ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, our hero discovers that in order for good to triumph he must become the hero he once was, that whatever the truth behind the myths, he must become Hercules.

Hercules suggests that the stories of those origins may not be true, but if he has any shot at victory it’s vital that he believes in himself, or others won’t.

The movie takes so long to get going that by the time it does it’s too late. There is little to no character development meaning that when people meet their bitter end you don’t bat an eyelid.

It’s a shame that the movie focuses on Hercules’ post-labours career. For me the real story is in the twelve labours and the hero’s struggle to complete them.

This movie has Brett Ratner behind the 3D camera and a greased-up Dwayne Johnson rocking the loincloth, so it delivers exactly what any reasonable person reading that description might expect.

It seems like the 3D effects have been added in for the sake of it. I couldn’t pick out one individual scene and say that it made an impact.

I feel full just thinking about the amount of food ‘The Rock’ ate each day to bulk up for Hercules. We’re used to seeing him playing the tough guy and this movie is no exception. He brings his a-game to the role. But in the end you can only work with the material you have been given. Who knows with a better script Hercules could have been a great movie, but at best it’s an okay one.

There are some great unintentional laugh-out-loud moments. I mean come on, it’s hard to take ‘The Rock’ seriously whilst he’s wearing nothing but a leather miniskirt and one of those animal-head hats popular with school children.

This isn’t the worst movie you could pick to go and see, but it most certainly isn’t the best one.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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