Hercules Review: Living Up to the Legend
Humanizing extraordinary heroes is the hip thing to do these days, and the Brett Ratner directed “Hercules” follows in the tradition by bringing the demigod down from Olympus. Don’t let the trailer fool you; This isn’t about hydras and other mythical monsters. The movie focuses on Hercules the
mercules mercenary traveling around and doing good deeds for gold, while his ever-growing, divine reputation precedes him. Is he the man or the myth?
Dwayne “Fanny Pack” Johnson plays the titular (huh-huh) strong man and carries the weight of the movie with plenty of his signature charisma and not enough eyebrow raising. Although his faces of anguish may sometimes end up looking more like confusion, his pecs convey all the emotion you need from this character.
His band of not-so-merry men (and one woman whom I kept mistaking for a young Nicole Kidman) do well in their respective roles, even if each of them seem like pretty standard classes of MMORPG characters. Amazonian archer? Check. Stealthy, dagger throwing thief? Check.
Unfortunately, the decent casting is ruined by exposition with the subtly of a gorilla. Save for some genuinely funny pontificating by the morbid soothsayer, the dialogue is so bad I rolled my eyes with sass. Oh, those centaurs are half human and half horse? Just like I can see on the giant screen?
But let’s face it, we aren’t in this for the script are we? We came to see a beefy dude bash some other dudes with a club and break stuff that looks hard to break. On that front, the movie delivers. Hercules, smash.
Despite the pitiful dialog, the rehashing of character types, and some less than stellar CGI, the movie ends up okay. I mean, it’s far from perfect, but I didn’t hate it. Honestly, that could also be attributed to the fact that it isn’t three hours long; it doesn’t have racially insensitive robots; and I wasn’t married to the source material. Although, I did enjoy the casual reference to my namesake.
I saw what I came to see and I laughed a few times. What more can you ask of a summer action flick? Oh yeah, don’t insult the audience’s intelligence. Oh well, maybe next time.