Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes
What's it about: A retelling of the myth of Hercules, the Greek hero. Here, the demigod has lost it all - family, country and peace of mind. With nothing else left to lose, he lives and fights with his band of fearless mercenaries, eager for a fight and for gold. While there's nothing heroic about this guy except his legend, he takes on the onus of training an army to do battle against a rebellious warlord.
What's hot: McShane as the seer Amphiaraus is brilliant in a role that he completely inhabits. Hurt as Lord Cotys is pure menace even when he's pretending to be the long-suffering king of Thrace. And it does help that Johnson is sincere to the script to a fault. He looks like he can win wars by himself. The story has its moments, but you tire of waiting for them. The saving grace are the one-liners and the fight scenes.
What's not: Several things, actually. Ever hear that line... if it ain't broke, don't fix it? Well, it was said for a reason. When we meet Hercules, he bleeds and he has nightmares. Making the greatest Greek hero of all, simply an incredibly strong human being is quite simply, trying something that while brave, didn't need that treatment. Also, this feels like The Last Samurai-meets-Gladiator. So really, how original was this intended to be, Mr Ratner? And the abundance of accents! Couldn't they just have stuck with one? And the whole thing seems like it was completed in an incredible hurry.
What to do: With two Hercules films already out this year, this one comes off too little, too late despite being a far superior effort than the other two. Could've been so much better. Watchable, but not repeat-worthy.