Year: 2014
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: 12A
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt
Score: 2/5

Hercules is known by people of all ages as the demigod, son of Zeus, slayer of monsters, and possessing some sort of supernatural powers or strength. Brett Ratner’s Hercules has only defeated some monsters. Ratner strips back the myth to reveal the boring truth about the ‘demigod’. The Hydra was a few men wearing masks, Cerberus was actually three dogs. As for the rest of Hercules’ Labours it can not be said but there is nothing extraordinary about Dwayne Johnson’s version except that he’s strong.


The film follows Hercules and his group of mercenaries taking jobs and telling tales of Hercules’ magnificence when they are recruited by John Hurt to train his warriors so that they can protect the kingdom of Thrace from a warlord that supposedly has an army of Centaurs at his disposal. Hercules and his gang train the army against a group of barbarians before challenging the Centaurs, who turn out to actually be just men riding horses, and the uprising is over. As the hero prepares to leave he uncovers that his warlord was merely rebelling as a reaction to the Hurt’s attempts to expand his kingdom. The group soon fight back and peace is restored to the land.


The film is fairly boring. The trailer would have you convinced that a completely different movie was at play here. Johnson is constantly having hallucinations which suggests that the whole ‘son of Zeus’ story has gone to his head and it is revealed that the group concocted this story to spread fear amongst the people that they would be going after. The final battle scene ends with Hercules pushing over a statue which luckily kills the people it was meant to and the rest of the film seems like a shorter and less exciting version of Troy. Ian McShane and Rufus Sewell star as two of Hercules’ comrades and are the best actors in the film: Sewell for his cocky charm that never falters and McShane for constantly anticipating his death and always becoming surprises or annoyed when it eludes him.


Dwayne Johnson may have wanted to play Hercules since he first became an actor and does so to great effect. However too much is relied on other people making him seem great than him actually doing it himself. Were it not for the sheer size of the actor, this film could have been worse than the other two Hercules movies that have come out so far this year. Despite some exciting fight scenes, the most exciting thing about this film is seeing how huge Johnson’s muscles are. Hercules has been pushed down to human size and the film doesn’t deliver anything new that no other Hercules movie has done before.

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