By Darin Skaggs
You ever watch a movie that was everything you expected it to be and yet everything you wanted? Brett Ratner’s Hercules fits that bill to a t. Ratner has made a silly, dumb, fun, humorous action film about the great legend of the Greek hero. The positive and negative elements are set on opposing sides of a scale and find a way to balance out to make a decent, entertaining film.
Dwayne Johnson stars the almighty Hercules who, through the storytelling intro, has defeated the twelve labors which include a giant boar and a thick skinned lion. We find out these stories are heightened up to strike fear into his enemies because he may or may not be who he says he is, he is just stronger than most men. Hercules and his band of warriors are then summoned to train and fight for the kingdom of Lord Coyts from the wicked Rheseus and his army.
Honestly the film does not have much to say. It is not layered in a good deal of beautiful and moving metaphors. It is simply a fun action flick with a handful of laugh out loud moments and frankly that is all it needs to be. The special effects are not in your face and when they do use them they are not cringe worthy. Every performance gives the impression that it was a blast to make. There are a few moments of seriousness, which the film needs to ground it ever so slightly so it just doesn’t become completely ridiculous.
It is in Hercules in which proves the truth that no one really wants or even cares to admit; Brett Ratner knows how to make a movie. The opening draws you in by the narration telling of the son of Zeus being born, learning to fight and then Hercules vanquishing his enemies which is all told through visual montage. Then it tells us that all of that was close to the way it went down but built up for dramatic effect which is true for all action films, nothing that happens in an action flick could really happen in reality. They are over exaggerated to be more exhilarating and that is just what Ratner does in this film. There are jokes rattled throughout, and one character deemed the comic relief of the piece all work in favor of the film. It all builds up to the exciting finale, in which Hercules learns his true potential and is the best sequence in the movie. Ratner takes the normal checklist of an action film and checks them off with good parts and makes one of the year’s more fun times at the movies.