Dwayne Johnson in Hercules (2014)

Braun Over Brain

Following the 12 labours, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), the son of Zeus, has made friends with 6 similar lonely souls whose only pleasure arises from getting involved in bloody battles never questioning what they are fighting for just wondering about what they will be paid. With their reputation spreading across the countries they find themselves hired by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) to train his men to become bloody warriors like him and his team in order to defeat a War Lord.

I remember reading in a review once that when Dwayne Johnson delivers anything but witty dialogue you tend to switch off and watching "Hercules" that becomes very clear. I hadn't ever realised it because so many of Johnson's movies are filled with wit and one liners but whilst you get those here you also get passages where the dialogue is serious and routine which for some reason when Johnson delivers you end up not paying attention to him. It means that whilst Johnson looks the part and when it comes to the action delivers it with confidence there are times he seems out of his depth.

Peter Mullan in Hercules (2014)

Of course "Hercules" is not just a one man show and the producers have littered this movie with a few famous faces and quite a few British ones at that with the likes of IIan McShane, Peter Mullan and John Hurt. But whilst some of these actors are far more adept at delivering some of the more thespian style dialogue they also surprisingly lack something which keeps your attention.

But that leads me to what the truth about "Hercules" is, whilst there are a variety of characters from psycho warriors to pretty women as well as a story which sees Hercules' eyes opened to the cost of bloodshed it is all about the action. Now there is nothing wrong with that and there is nothing wrong with the action in this with many an impressive and chaotic fight scene which does a nice job of mixing real action with CGI. But at the same time there needed to be more than big fight scenes and this is where the failure to command attention with dialogue causes the movie to suffer.

What this all boils down to is that there is no doubt that "Hercules" scores highly on visual entertainment with big muscles and big fight scenes. But this is one of those movies where when the actors are not flexing their muscles they struggle to keep your interest with the dialogue.