Wasn't there supposed to be a "...happily ever after..." when Hercules finished his twelve labors? Not according to the Greek goddess Hera and director Brett Ratner ("Tower Heist"). Nope. Things are just getting started. Our hero hires out as a mercenary, along with five other misbegotten souls, to a beleaguered King of Thrace and his daughter Ergenia. He tries to form an army out of farmers, but runs out of time.
- * Dwayne Johnson ("Fast & Furious 6") as Hercules, son of Zeus (which makes him a demigod but only brings him misery), is now trying to examine how far he has fallen.
- * Ian McShane ("Cuban Fury") Amphiaraus can forecast his own death...maybe.
- * Rufus Sewell ("The Pillars of the Earth") Autolycus can't see why they can't just take the money and run.
- * Aksel Hennie ("Headhunters") Tydeus is the ferocious fellow who was rescued from a battlefield as an infant. He has never spoken a word.
- * Ingrid Bolsø Berdal ("Chernobyl Diaries") Atalanta isn't just a book store in Bisbee, Arizona. It is also the name of the crackerjack archer who makes up the rest of the team.
- * Reese Ritchie ("Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time") is Iolaus, our hero's nephew, a little too eager to fight, but a good storyteller, nonetheless.
- * John Hurt ("Snowpiercer") Lord Cotys is my choice for a pragmatic politician.
- * Rebecca Ferguson ("The White Queen") is Ergenia, his unhappy daughter.
- * Joseph Fiennes ("American Horror Story") is King Eurystheus, the fellow who knows more than he admits.
This PG-13 adventure is loaded with fanged critters, lots of sword fights and military drilling. There is no blowie uppie stuff, but we see burning oil and a collapsing temple. There is only one "F" bomb in the whole thing and it is appropriately used. I really enjoyed the delicious bits of humor that are scattered throughout, particularly when delivered by McShane. He either got the best dialogue or made the best of what he was given.
The screening audience was delighted. To quote one happy fellow, "Great fun for a B-level movie!" Remember, movies are primarily Entertainment, and this one is entertaining.