Maybe more so than any other sports figure that has turned to motion pictures, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made a very successful career in the movies. And he has done it in many genres. What started very Schwarzenegger-esque with his barely speaking role in The Mummy Returns and after in his own film of The Scorpion King, his career quickly escalated to include family films like The Game Plan, The Tooth Fairy and Race to Witch Mountain to gritty adult thrillers like Walking Tall and Faster, to comedic roles in films like Be Cool, The Other Guys, and Get Smart. He seems to be able to do pretty much any sort of role with veritable ease and with great success. Now he is part of one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, the Fast and Furious films, with a 7th movie coming out next year. This week he takes on one of mythologies biggest heroes, Hercules.
Born of a human mother and the kind of the Gods, Zeus, Hercules (Johnson) is now a tormented man walking the earth. After enduring the twelve labors and the loss of his family, Hercules is hired by the King of Thrace to train his men to become the greatest army the world has ever known. As Hercules takes on this new task and eventually leads the army into battle, he soon discovers the King may not be telling the whole truth about their situation. Hercules must decide if he is to do the right thing and not only confront a new enemy but secrets from his own past.
Hercules is directed by Brett Ratner, one of the most hotly debated directors in Hollywood. He is often disliked and condemned for making soulless films. I do not fall into this camp and think that Ratner makes fun popcorn movies, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Hercules is no exception. While it is no classic and may not be remembered as such in years to come, it is still a very enjoyable action film with great sequences and a solid performance by The Rock. It is a more grounded tale of the famed demigod with less of the mythological parts of the tale but is a rollicking adventure film with a great cast that will undoubtedly provide a great night of entertainment regardless. Great effects, great action and The Rock, done deal.
The Blu-ray from Paramount Home Video is slick and sharp. Lush landscapes, great color and razor sharp, this is a phenomenal looking movie with an immersive audio soundscape. Hercules is sure to please the pickiest of home theatre enthusiasts.
Available November 4 on Blu-ray and DVD.