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By Kate Smith
23rd July 2014

First things first - I love The Rock/Dwayne Johnson. Ever since 'The Mummy Returns', I’ve been a fan. And I’m not alone. As the highest-grossing actor in the world, Johnson is bankable box-office gold. 'Hercules' will no doubt rake in the cash - but the real question is, is it actually any good?

Short answer? Yeah, so long as you don’t expect anything too profound. But if you’re looking at a Rock movie, you’re not looking for anything too deep, except maybe the crevices between his enormous muscles. Seriously, they’re distracting.

'Hercules' begins with a recounting of the demi-god’s epic Twelve Labours, embellished with just the right amount of corny. All that schlock comes to a screeching halt, introducing the first moment of genuine humour. These moments pepper the film in all the right places, and director Brent Ratner made the best choice in who to give those moments to. The best lines go to the best actors. Ian McShane has some beauties, and was clearly having a lot of fun. John Hurt chews the scenery with relish, and Rufus Sewell is as good as ever, while Joseph Fiennes is almost unrecognisable and lacking in screen time.


Dwayne Johnson isn’t ever going to win an Oscar, which is a shame, because he really throws everything at this role. The underlying message (of believing in yourself) is dear to his heart, and it shows in his performance.

As Hercules and his crew of mercenaries take on the task of rescuing the Greek State of Thrace from a marauding warlord, everything seems just a bit too straightforward... clichés abound, but they don’t necessarily ruin anything. The dialogue isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but isn’t unbearable either. A twist sets up the second half of the film, where events start to move very quickly. Meanwhile, Hercules has to deal with his own personal demons haunting him.

Dwayne Johnson isn’t ever going to win an Oscar, which is a shame, because he really throws everything at this role.

The CGI is excellent, with expansive shots of ancient cities and armies. There are also some impressive scenery shots. 3D can sometimes ruin a movie, but 'Hercules' utilises it well. If you can, see it in 3D. The score is nothing special, and barely noticeable amongst all that’s happening on screen. Costumes and sets are great, as are the sound effects – the surround sound is quite exceptional.

You spend most of the film wondering if it’s a period action piece, or a fantasy film. Other elements of the film use tension well too, and break it up with some genuine laugh out loud moments.

My only gripes – one battle scene was far too long (just an excuse for gratuitous violence) and there were only two women in the whole main cast.

If you’re looking for some good, big, fun, this is the right choice. It’s got a bit of something for everyone, and is slightly more clever than expected.

RELEASE DATE: 24/07/2014
RUN TIME: 01h 38m
CAST: Dwayne Johnson
Ian McShane
Rufus Sewell
Joseph Fiennes
Peter Mullan
John Hurt
DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner
WRITERS: Ryan Condal
Evan Spiliotopoulos
Barry Levine
Brett Ratner
SCORE: Fernando VelÁzquez
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