Friday, 25 July 2014

Hercules (2014)

The second of 2014's offerings of Hercules. It's not really a surprise that this one is superior to the Kellan Lutz-led 'The Legend of Hercules'. Sadly, that's about all this film has going for it. Not even The Rock, wearing a lion head instead of a fanny pack here, can save this one.

'Hercules' claims to be telling us the 'true story' (yep, it's one of those) behind the Greek character. You see, gone are all the monsters and gods, replaced with just a very strong Hercules (though no one seems to bat an eyelid at his strength) and his buddies gathered from around Greece (Ελλάς!, my mind spontaneously thinks after writing 'Greece') who go around taking down people dressed as the vile and verminous beasties. Yes, the trailer does show Hercules in combat against various creatures but that is the most you'll see of them in the film. And that is right at the start when someone is trying to spread the myth.

So, if Hercules isn't taking down large animals, what is he doing? It seems he has been hired by John Hurt's Thracian king to train some soldiers and take down some guy causing trouble in Thrace (which is barely a herculean task - the opponent is fairly useless). Which is then followed by the obvious plot development. There really isn't much in the way of plot, which is why the film can't extend its life beyond the 90-100 minute limit.

I didn't find the film to be very entertaining on any level. The plot and characters don't inspire any kind of investment while all the action feels highly underwhelming, with the battles between armies feeling somewhat small and free of any impact. It definitely isn't 'Lord of the Rings'. This is all accompanied by some poorly written dialogue that doesn't even qualify as unintentionally amusing. It's just dull.

I'm not too sure what to think about the lack of mythological creatures. The trailer did promise them and gave the impression they'd have more of a part. And, if done right, that stuff can be entertaining. But then I recall films like '47 Ronin' and 'Wrath of the Titans' (and the remake of 'Clash') and wonder if 'Hercules' going the route it does is better, especially as I don't have much faith in Brett Ratner.

There really doesn't appear to be much else to say on the matter. I've seen that many people view this film as silly entertainment and I wish I could have seen it as that too. Unfortunately, this can join 2014's other Ancient Greek misfires ('The Legend of Hercules' and '300: Rise of an Empire'). It's just a boring, forgettable action film. Made worse by that so-called '3D'.

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