Now I’m not normally a prude when it comes to these things in fact I’m normally the berk that giggles in the cinema when you see someone’s face get crushed but this film was surprisingly brutal.
Ok, let me qualify that statement. Before the film we had a trailer for The Inbetweeners 2 and if you haven’t seen it they say “because this is a 12a we can’t show you a lot” and I sat back and thought “oh yeah! 12a, I guess no-one dies then”. So I’m starting the film thinking this is Kevin Sorbo mark 2.
The film very quickly gets through most of the Hercules trailer leaving you with a film that isn’t simply a 1.5 hour trailer and after it gets into the meat of the film you realise that this is a bit more brutal than what a 12a probably should be. People getting crushed by giant Samoan man? Check. People taking arrows in the neck? Check. People being set on fire? Check. Burnt villages full of corpses? Check.
Anyway. Prudish moment over. The film did a couple of things really well the first was that the fight scenes which were entertaining and well crafted for the most part. The second thing that the film did surprisingly well was that it follows the mythical stories that you would expect like Hercules battling a Hydra but it soon turns out that the hydra was a group of bandits with serpent masks.
The film could easily have followed the cliche of ancient Greece with mythical beasts and gods but places the mythology in an explainable reality instead. This also plays into the motivation of our demi-god hero who is a mercenary for hire that relies on these fantastical stories to scare his enemies and make his work easier.
What the film didn’t do particularly well was err… everything else. There was too little background motivation on Hercules’ band of merry men, too little on Hercules’ back story to make you feel like the tortured man that he is meant to be in this film.
Also there wasn’t a heroic effort on the acting front it wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great. Ian McShane steals the show but that is neither surprising or saying much and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal who plays our only female warrior hits all the beats in the action scenes but when she talks about how they are family I couldn’t help compare this to ‘Arnie’ trying to emote in <insert any arnie film here>.
Go See If
- You like action films
- You have a thing for the rock or muscles because fuck me…. he is massive!
- You like fantasy/mythological beasties
- You are a stickler for historical accuracy
- You are 12
- You like character development in films