Hercules 3D Blu-ray Review
Sometimes a bad movie will not only ruin your opinion of everyone involved, but it will also make it so you don’t ever want to see the subject matter on the big screen again. THE LEGEND OF HERCULES was so bad that I had zero desire to see the famed Greek legend on the big screen again, even with Dwayne Johnson in the lead. Of course, having Brett Ratner at the helm wasn’t going to do anything to change my mind, but I reluctantly sat down to watch HERCULES and although it wasn’t a good film, it was moderately enjoyable in that late-night cable movie kind of way.
In this telling of Hercules, our hero has already endured his twelve labors and has come out on the other end a mercenary for hire. Together with his ragtag group of “soldiers”, he takes jobs defending people and busting heads. Think of this group as the A-Team of ancient Greece. Things are fine for Hercules until he takes a job for Lord Cotys, which has him training an army and fighting what he believes is an evil deserter that’s intent on overthrowing Lord Cotys. But things are not always as they seem and soon Hercules and his team find themselves caught up in a messy political situation where everyone has their own agenda.
Any film about Greek mythology can get lost in the details of the story and focus too much on the human-God relationship or the specifics of the situation. But we all know Brett Ratner isn’t a fan of specifics and he foregoes the details of Hercules’s God-status and leaves it up to the audience to decide if it’s true or not. To Ratner’s credit, he doesn’t include the Gods in this story at all. This is not a story about the Gods or even Hercules’s God-like abilities. Instead, it’s about a warrior finding redemption and revenge on those that have wronged him. And of course, there’s a lot of The Rock beating people up.
For the most part, the action is sufficient. There is some very questionable CGI work, especially when Ratner decides to use slow motion, making me think they ran out of money in the CGI room. But if you want to see a muscle-y Dwayne Johnson beat up a ton of random bad guys, this movie will give you what you want. It seems a little pointless to discuss the performances in a movie like this, but everyone did fine with what they had. This isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but the lone bright spot was Ian McShane, who continues to be the best part of just about everything he’s in. He added a little pizzazz to an otherwise throwaway character.
HERCULES reminded me of an 80’s action movie in that it was heavy on the muscles and violence and light on everything else. Brett Ratner seemed in awe of Dwayne Johnson’s muscles and they were the real star of the film. Everything else seemed like an afterthought. Putting the focus on The Rock wasn’t a bad move from Ratner as he knew what he had to work with. HERCULES isn’t the ultimate, epic Greek tragedy adaptation some mythology junkies might be wanting, but it’s a fun movie that flies by and provides enough entertainment to be passable.
HERCULES 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
As I was watching this in 3D, I kept noticing that Dwayne Johnson’s body seemed “chalky” compared to everyone else’s and it took me a while to figure out that the chalk-like substance I kept seeing on his arm was actually make-up to cover his giant tattoo. I point that out to say how good the 3D experience was with this Blu-ray. The image was crystal clear and it had more than enough “pop” effects to make the 3D worthwhile.
Video: The 2D video was just as impressive. Ratner doesn’t always make the best films, but he does make great looking films.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Brett Ratner and Beu Flynn: The director and producer team up for a commentary on the theatrical cut and talk about how their film differs from other takes on Hercules. They keep the commentary going and offer some nice tidbits about the film.
Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson: An Introduction (5:31): The duo talk about their love of the character and touch on The Rock’s injury and how it almost shut down the film.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (14:24): Nothing stands out from these 15 short deleted scenes
There are four behind the scenes featurettes, including The Effects of Hercules (12:27), Hercules and His Mercenaries (11:06), Weapons (5:23) and The Bessi Battle (11:55). They each loosely cover an aspect of the making of the film. I included them in one bunch because it would have worked better as a longer featurette as opposed to four short segments.