Hercules [2014] ★★

hercules-dwayne-johnson-2014-posterAfter the crappy “Legend of Hercules”, I don’t think audiences needed to see another “Hercules” movie. Not so soon anyway. And yet Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson seems born for the role. The man is strong, funny and he knows how to entertain. Then director Brett Ratner comes along and decides to ruin everything. His movie, based on the Radical Comic series “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” by Steve Moore, is far from memorable. What we get here is a Hercules who offers his services in exchange for money. One day, he is approached by Princess Ergenia who wants him to help her daddy, King Cotys (John Hurt, wasted), defeat the evil sorcerer Rhesus. That’s cue for director Brett Ratner to throw in one battle scene after the other. It’s also cue for the cast to run around dodging death, cracking jokes and acting like they’re in it for something more than a quick buck. Yea right. I have taken great pains not to compare this movie to earlier incarnations of Hercules because I think the movie fails on its own terms. I like Dwayne Johnson and he may be worth the price of admission alone (hence the two star rating), but there’s nothing remotely genuine or sincere about this movie. The 90’s one hour TV episodes starring Kevin Sorbo were formulaic in the extreme but they were done with conviction, and aimed at kids (and the young at heart). That is why they endure and continue to entertain people, including newcomers, after so many years. I’m already doing my best to forget this version of “Hercules”.

Rating: 2/4

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