Film Review: Hercules (2014)

untitled (28)Hercules- Film Review by David Smith

I went to see Hercules the other night. Or rather I allowed myself to sit in a dark room (and waste money, time and a few spare brain cells) while the film passed in front of my eyes.

I’m beginning to long for the autumn when we might see some intelligent and cerebral films coming out but at the moment it’s a wasteland of celluloid which seems to think that all that’s needed to make a film is a $100 million budget and a script written by a monkey with access to too many crayons. We’re now heading into August and the intelligent blockbuster movies like X Men: Days of Future Past now seem to belong to another era. The latest bit of expensive Hollywood nonsense is Hercules. It’s got the poor man’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dwayne Johnson as the titular hunk of muscular beef surrounded by actors who are appear to be in it simply because they need a new fridge or beer to put in said fridge or rent money for the week. At least the actors surrounding Johnson know how to act better than he does because it’s the only thing that the film does right so we get to watch John Hurt, Peter Mullan, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell and Ian Macshane act Johnson off the screen. The film version of Hercules has a problem because it starts where it should end, namely after his 12 labours and then fails to come up with anything fun or interesting to do. Instead it has Hercules and is group of friends trying to train an army in a short space of time and then tried to be clever and introduce a twist that anyone who has not had a full frontal lobotomy would spot a mile off. It has huge battle sequences which are edited in the usual mess that I gave up trying to work out what I was supposed to be looking at. When is Hollywood going to tumble to the fact that a good action sequence doesn’t need to be made of 1 or 2 frame edits that leave the audience scrambling around trying to work out the geography of a sequence? If they need a lesson in this, tell the directors and editors to go and watch some of the best Bond movies to see how to film and edit an action sequence. One of the best things in the film is Ian Macshane but even then the film gives up trying to follows its own internal logic. The films wants Hercules to be a mortal man and then has Machsane’s character being able to (partially) see the future. It wants to have its cake and eat it and fails at that but then the film also wants to be 300 but doesn’t want to show the sex or violence so instead it wimps out on that front as well.

Some people are saying that the film is fun but I was simply glad when it had ground its way to a conclusion as then I could get out of the cinema and get on with my life, like trying to find the next summer blockbuster that won’t make me long for a lower IQ so I could appreciate it. It’s going to be a long, hard, bloody road but I must walk it.


Project Nemesis: I guess David couldn’t smell what the Rock was cooking. I think I will wait until it is on Netflix to watch- I find “free” often enhances the viewing


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