Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Just a Quickie Please: Hercules (2014 starring Dwayne Johnson) Review
This is the second or third incarnation of the Greek demi-god's tale. Anyway, I've lost count at this point, partly out of sheer boredom. The latest outing stars the immense talent and on-screen presence of professional wrestler turned actor, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Please note that I saturate the prior sentence with such a tsunami of sarcasm that Poseidon himself would be proud. However, before I wax too cynical, I have to admit, ashamedly so, that this inception is the most unique and interesting take on the done to Hades tale. Get it, done to Hades, instead of death, Greek pun, never-mind. Replacing all of the mythology with a more realistic perspective, calling out the legend as the hapless misconceptions, frustrated imaginations, and superstitious paranoia that drove the philosophies and pluralism of primitive culture. But that is where the half-hearted praise ends and aspirations come crashing down. So let's have at it, shall we? The acting is stale, characters routine and predictable, with special effects unremarkable for such a big budget fiasco, and anticlimactic battle sequences that border on humdrum. Johnson's pull and desirability as a leading action star escape me, as much of a mystery as Atlantis's location or Homer's riddles. Ha, more Greek references, at least I amuse myself. The remaining cast, although hovering slightly above the B List, like the wayward Icarus, offer zero depth or attraction to their singularly dimensional cinematic identities. So, even with a script crafted with the best intentions, any and all possibility of achievement quickly melts away in the brilliance of this cast's abject failure, 1 out of 5 Kernels: A for effort in redefining the mythos, F in execution. Not even the iconic strength of the mighty Olympian offspring could not have saved this farce from collapsing in on itself.