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By Paul Kates
Jul 30, 2014 11:05 AM EST

Hercules Theatrical Review

Brett Ratner’s Hercules is a vast improvement on The Legend of Hercules, this year’s earlier adaptation of the tale of the Greek hero.
Hercules Theatrical Review
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One of Ancient Greece's most popular myths is turned on its head with Brett Ratner's telling of Hercules. In Ratner's account, the son of Zeus is no more than a leader of a band of cut-throat mercenaries, working their way through life, until they each have enough gold to retire into a life they all desire.

Once the predictable narrative that seems to prelude so many movies with an ancient worldly theme is over, the movie moves straight into action with Hercules (Dwayne Johnson Fast & Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and his band of cohorts serving their very own sort of justice on a band of Macedonian pirates before moving on to the main plot of the movie. Hired by Princess Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson The White Queen, Vi), he is offered his weight in gold to help save her father's kingdom from impending war with the renegade Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann), leader of an army of mythical beasts that has conquered all in its path.

"I am Hercules!", screams Dwayne Johnson and, in truth, the way he looks in the movie is how we would all imagine the half man half god would have looked like in the 4th century BC. Although flexing his bicep's on command was most probably the main reason for him being offered the role, his performance is worthy of a lot more, to his credit he made a bad script look not that bad and this is a far better outing for the former wrestler than his previous ancient world outing "The Scorpion King". Those around him again were accomplished - Ian McShane's (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Jack the Giant Slayer) Amphiaraus, a man more concerned with his own death above anything else, kept some humor in there. Rufus Sewell as Autolycus (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Tourist) and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Chernobyl Diaries) as Atalanta, a bow wielding Amazonian. Pick of the bunch was John Hurt (V for Vendetta, Hellboy) as the deceitful Lord Cotys.

I'd be interested to know whether Brett Ratner had thoughts of this being the beginning of a franchise; if so, a second movie would have to improve greatly in the screen writing department. The script written by Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore. Moore, for his part, disapproved of the adaptation and it's easy to see why. While the action scenes will keep you entertained, the cheesy puns on the other hand will not. The 3D and CGI is used and works well throughout, especially the fight scene with the Hydra. The use of fast action and lack of blood in many of the fight scenes is once again a deliberate decision to keep the censors happy and the rating to the all-important PG-13 / 12A.

Brett Ratner's Hercules is a vast improvement on The Legend of Hercules, this year's earlier adaptation of the tale of the Greek hero. Unlike its predecessor, Ratner's Hercules, although lacking a strong script, will keep you entertained for the duration.
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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 120 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

For more information about Hercules visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Paul Kates

FlickDirect, Paul  Kates

Mr. Kate's love affair with the movies started at a young age and has remained an integral part of his life. Although favoring the action/thriller above all other genres, his interest doesn't stop there. He will watch anything from period dramas to science fiction. Not only is Paul Kates a fan of the silver screen, he is also fond of US TV dramas, notably Arrow, Game of Thrones and The Blacklist. His favorite movies include The Lord of the Ring trilogy, and the Jason Bourne movies, while still having a soft spot for Disney animation which still to this day evokes memories from his childhood. Read more reviews and content by .

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