Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Dawyne Johnson, Rufus Sewell, and Ian McShane
HERCULES (2014). Director: Brett Ratner.

"I can deal with an ambitious man because he can be bought. But a man with no ambition wants nothing."

Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) has finished most of his twelve labors and is now a mercenary for hire, along with some comrades, when he is importuned by Lord Cotys (John Hurt of Alien) of Thrace and his daughter, Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal),  to help them fight the warlord, Rhesus (Tobias Santelmann), who has magic  and centaurs on his side. Don't expect to see much of that magic because this is yet another mythological film that downplays the fantastic aspects of the legends in favor of warfare. However, Hercules is exciting on that level, and well-staged battle scenes get across the violence without needing to depict extreme gore. Johnson is fine as Hercules, with good support from Rufus Sewell as his comrade Autolycus, Ian McShane [The Last of Sheila] as old seer Amphiaraus, Aksel Hennie as crazy Tydeus, and Reece Ritchie, as Hercules' nephew Iolaus. There's only one monstrous creature in the whole movie, and it looks like video game imagery, but the movie is nicely photographed. This is somewhat better than The Legend of Hercules, which was also released in 2014.

Verdict: Entertaining action flick with muscles. ***.

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