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Believe it or not, the above quote from John Ford’s 1962 Western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance applies tellingly to Brett Ratner’s fresh take on Hercules. Despite having the larger-than-life figure of Dwayne Johnson fronting the endeavour, it moves quickly to puncture the myth surrounding the Greek hero and root itself in some kind of tangible reality.Those legendary twelve labours? Total bulls**t, tall tales weaved by Reece Ritchie’s Iolaus to turn a mortal into a legend and strike fear into the hearts of those who oppose him. This Hercules is a man fleeing from a traumatic past,(Download Hercules Movie) leading a team of outcasts (among them Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) across Greece in search of riches.King Cotys of Thrace (John Hurt) and his daughter Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson) recruit Hercules and his mercenary clan to take an army to war, although things aren’t quite as clear-cut as this, particularly with moustache-twirling Brit actors like Hurt, Joseph Fiennes and Peter Mullan populating the background and barking out lines like „unleash the wolves” and „kill the filthy bastard”.

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(Download Hercules Movie) Crunching, stab-tastic action scenes await as Ratner throws everything and the kitchen sink up on screen. It’s giddily entertaining watching Dwayne Johnson stride into battle (he is comfortably the best thing about the movie), but beyond this brute force there’s not enough to make it stand out against the likes of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy in a crowded blockbuster season.The film’s central concept – deconstructing the demigod – certainly makes it a more interesting proposition than Kellan Lutz’s recent Hercules offering,(Download Hercules Movie) but it’s only a surface skim of the idea and hardly on the level of an Alan Moore Watchmen-style re-examination.Part of the problem is that this Hercules wants to have its cake and eat it. Presenting the „real” story behind the legend is all well and good, but the film also portrays the hero grappling with CGI beasties as he undertakes his labours. As the movie progresses, there are vague allusions towards Hercules’s status as the son of Zeus, however all this seems to be an arbitrary nod towards audience expectations.

(Download Hercules Movie) Playing with those expectations is certainly no bad thing, but when you have an actor as charismatic and as physically powerful as Johnson, it doesn’t quite feel right to strip away the characters more mythical elements. Print the legend? With The Rock on board, that could’ve been a lot more fun.You think you know the truth about him? You know nothing!” This from the very shouty narrator who opens Hercules for us,(Download Hercules Movie) presumably in case you saw the hilariously awful The Legend of Hercules earlier this year and were suckered into believing that Kellan Lutz is a demigod. What’s sort of funny and sort of the best thing about this second attempt in a few months to pass off a superhero of the ancient world as one for the 21st century is that the shouty narrator turns out to be Herc’s publicist, and that he is informing us that it’s probably best not to believe the stories you hear about the feats of demigods, because they are likely self-serving bullshit. This happens in the course of the publicist “informing” some bad guys about to die at Herc’s hands that they cannot hope to defeat the “son of Zeus” because he is all-mighty, etcetera and so on, blah blah self-serving legend-building bullshit.

(Download Hercules Movie) See, cuz here, Hercules (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Fast & Furious 6, Pain and Gain) is nothing but a completely mortal, totally human fourth-century BC mercenary with really great PR. He travels around the ancient world with his merry band of brothers- and one badass Amazonian sister-in-arms, played variously by Ian McShane (Cuban Fury, Jack the Giant Slayer), Rufus Sewell (The Sea, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Aksel Hennie (Headhunters), and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters).(Download Hercules Movie) Also with them is Herc’s nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 10,000 B.C.), who is really good at telling engaging stories about the supposed exploits of the son of the king of the gods who has killed unkillable monster-creatures, among his other Important Labors. When Hercules borders a bit on the Monty Python — “he fights the lion!” — that’s actually kind of intentionally ridiculous in the same way that Monty Python was.The pity of Hercules is that it simply isn’t Monty Python enough. A scenery-chewing turn by Joseph Fiennes (Running with Scissors, The Great Raid) as a fey king almost gets there. And there’s one bit in which I’m almost positive those horses are wearing wigs.

(Download Hercules Movie) But in trying to walk a fine line between clever and stupid, director Brett Ratner (Movie 43, Rush Hour 3) lets everything get more earnest than it should be, and sometimes more let’s-throw-in-another-long-tedious-battle-scene than it should be. (Probably screenwriters Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos [Battle for Terra] deserve some blame for this too.) Nobody wants to watch The Rock dither over whether his mercenary talents are being put to use for a morally just cause — dude, you’re a mercenary — which is what happens when the king of one part of Thrace (John Hurt [Snowpiercer, Only Lovers Left Alive],(Download Hercules Movie) who needs to be more Monty Python here) hires Herc and his friends to help him win a war against some other part of Thrace. But that’s what we get too much of here, and not enough of The Rock being funny and bashing heads… but then, there’s just enough of that for us to realize what we’re missing, too.Grading on the Ratner Curve, however, this is a positive triumph. It’s no The Scorpion King — the last time The Rock played an ancient mercenary — but you’d be forgiven for not even realizing this is a Ratner flick. The action is coherent, for one big thing.

(Download Hercules Movie) (Ratner’s last film, Tower Heist, was really pretty good, so I suspect he’s trying to wean himself off whatever joy comes from being the low-rent Michael Bay.) The cheesy clichés are at least still passingly entertaining, there’s a few good bits in the 3D that actually made me flinch instinctively, and someone gets to shout, “Unleash the wolves!” You could do worse.You could do better, though, too. I mean, we got a tale about a war built on lies and illusion and marketing — as Herc’s war here is — in that documentary about Donald Rumsfeld, and the villain in that one was way scarier.He is Hercules: hear him roar.(Download Hercules Movie) Pec-oil supplies plummet as the great muscly hero of classical antiquity arrives on the big screen, played by Dwayne „The Rock” Johnson, in glistening semi-nudity. Brett Ratner’s cheerfully ridiculous and entertaining film begins by saying that he is „the son of Zeus – the Zeus!” That’s in case there’s any confusion and someone blunders up to our hero mid-battle, and says how much they enjoyed his dad’s masterpiece The Cat in the Hat.

(Download Hercules Movie) Yet the film restricts his fabled 12 labours to the opening sequence, and does not dwell on the yucky business of cleansing the Augean stables. It is with tongue in cheek that it focuses on his post-labours career and suggests the stories of those origins may not be literally true, but vital for helping him to believe in himself, and fight the good fight.What a lesson there is for all of us. Hercules is avowedly the demigod leader of a crew of tough-guy mercenaries, a magnificent seven or so samurai of A-Team Expendables, including the seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), the droll Autolycus (Rufus Sewell),(Download Hercules Movie) super-sexy archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), brutish Tydeus (Aksel Hennie) and his silver-tongued nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), a beardless youth who longs to prove himself in battle.The king of Thrace (played, slightly inevitably, by John Hurt) hires the crew to defend his lands against sinister marauders, but there is something strange going on in their own camp, and it has something to do with the king’s iffy general, played by Peter Mullan.

(Download Hercules Movie) There were no cigars in those days, but if there were, Hercules might well have felt the need to spark one up; instead, he must content himself with other alpha-male mannerisms, such as removing from around his neck the tooth from the Nemean lion he defeated, and presenting it to a wide-eyed little boy who hero-worships him.There are some rousing battle scenes, preceded by stirring addresses on the subject of going to Elysium – all cheekily borrowed from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, the 2000 film that did so much to revive the swords’n’sandals genre.Only Hercules is also an origin story unto itself – based on the Radical Comics title, it offers the truth behind the myth by presenting the fashioning of a warrior who,(Download Hercules Movie) for all his strength and courage, is flesh and blood. The action opens with a captured soldier warning his aggressors they will face the wrath of Hercules (Dwayne Johnson kitted with a shoulder-length wig), a demi-god who defeated Hydra, a gigantic boar and a lion to make Asgard tremble as he passed a dozen labours to earn immortality. “What a load of crap,” comes the reply. Man, god of man-god, however, there can be no doubting Hercules’ skill with a sword, and he’s promised his weight in gold by the ruler of Thrace, Lord Cotys (a bushy goatee with John Hurt attached), should he lend his muscle to defeating an evil warlord.

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‘Brett Ratner’s Hercules’ are words to strike fear into the bravest of hearts but this is more sly and sprightly than we had any right to expect. Maintaining a neat balance of camp and solemnity, it sees Hercules and his band of trusted allies (Rufus Sewell, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ian McShane, Askel Hennie) rattle through Greece on the kind of odyssey Homer might have scribbled if he had ADD, stopping off en route for a training montage as Hercules whips Cotys’ depleted army of farmers into shape,(Watch Hercules Online) and engaging in three big battles – dynamic flurries of swords, shields, arrows, scythes, axes, whips, clubs and spears.The visuals are often murky but the CGI and 3D are decent, and helicopter shots over rocky mountains bring something of a Lord Of The Rings-style scope to the proceedings.Still, if it’s awe you’re after, look no further than Joseph Fiennes’ flowing ringlets – the best bad haircut since Princess Leia showed off her buns.

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