HERCULES DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Dwayne Johnson delivers an unforgettable performance as the mighty Hercules! When a terrifying new enemy threatens the innocent, Hercules and his fearless team of warriors must lead their army in a battle against overwhelming odds. It will take the strength of a god for Hercules to overcome his past and conquer his foes in the epic adventure that critics are calling "fast-paced and packed with eye-popping action!"
Brett Ratner makes generally entertaining movies just not memorable ones where you remember five years down the road or as some said, the minute you left the theater.
In this grounded version of demigod Hercules which is based on the Radical Comics, Dwayne Johnson plays the titular character, the leader of a band of mercenaries who is hired by a certain Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to train his Thracian army to fight an evil warlord.
In other words, Ratner dropped the Greek mythology aspects and delivered a straight-forward sword-and-sandal war epic. Betrayed by King Eurystheus (Joseph Fiennes), the Hercules here is a war-torn man with a tragic past. Instead of mythology creatures he is fighting against, our man is battling men wearing snakes helmets, savages colored in green, men riding on horseback but seen from far as centaurs and the villainous of all, the greed of men.
The testosterone fueled script makes this a Greek version of A-Team. Hercules is surrounded by the knife-throwing Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), the prophet Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), warrior Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and his nephew, storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie). These are interesting characters that are pathetically squeezed into the compact 90 minutes. Of all, Ian McShane’s Amphiaraus gets the most laughs as the character frequently predicts his own death with unexpected results.
Dwayne Johnson convincingly carries this movie with ease and there’s no shortage of action scenes that showcases his muscularity liked throwing a warrior together with his horse or fighting against three savage wolves. The battles are choreographed with much intensity and it’s heartening to know that these are physically staged instead of CG (except the arrows accordingly).
You can’t deny Ratner’s Hercules is a good mix of adventure, action and humour. Well it’s not exactly a smart layered action movie but when the movie knows how to poke fun at its competitor, the terrible Renny Harlin’s The Legend of Hercules, you realized it’s certainly is ballsy.
The director and producer talk about the movie’s grounded tone, special effects, on location shooting and many other areas in Commentary by Brett Ratner & Beau Flynn.
Johnson talks about the injury he sustained before the shoot and Ratner talks about why Hercules is his passion project in Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson: An Introduction.
Hercules & His Mercenaries delve into the actors portraying the leading characters.
The Effects of Hercules takes a look at the visual effects employed in several key scenes.
The visual presentation on the whole is stunning. Images and colours are superbly captured on DVD. The audio is nothing short of impressive with clear dialogue and chaotic battle foley effects.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee