In any movie starring Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, you can expect two things: Lots of footage of Johnson’s pecs and biceps and lots of violence, plus Johnson’s limited acting skills.
You get that in director Brett Ratner’s “Hercules,” not to be confused with the earlier “The Legend of Hercules.” The “Legend “ film was flabby, but “Hercules” has plenty of muscle.
You don’t go to movies like this expecting fine acting or a tight plot and you don’t get it here. What you get is plenty of computer-generated images and a lurching plot, you get Johnson and his trusted confidants: Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), a childhood friend who rose with the orphaned Hercules through the ranks of the Athenian army; the fearsome Amazonian warrior Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal); shell-shocked mute Tydeus (the impressive Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie, from “Headhunters”) as his merry crew of mercenaries.
Herc has done his 12 traditional labors so is ready to help out Cotys (John Hurt), kind of Thrace. This is mixed up with a band of centaurs (who become ordinary neb on horseback) and Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Hades.
Lot of time is spent training Cotys’ army and leading it into battle with crazed hordes of semi-naked scythe-wielding foes.
This film is summer-season easy-going fluff, noting serious here, just a lot of fun, And since it is an action thriller, that’s what it claims to be and is. Enjoy it and snips of scenes of Atlanta (the charming arrow firing Ingrid Boiso Berdal). Rufus Sewll is fine as an old buddy as is Ian McShane.
Pay to enjoy and unless you’re looking for “HAMLET,” you will find a blood but exciting movie.
• Dwayne Johnson as Hercules
• John Hurt as Cotys, King of Thrace
• Rufus Sewell as Autolycus
• Ian McShane as Amphiaraus
• Ingrid Bolso Berdal as Atlanta
• Aksel Hennie as Tydeus
• Reece Ritchie as Iolaus
• Rebecca Ferguson as Ergenia
• Joseph Fiennes
• Steve Peacocke as Stephanos
• Peter Mullan
• Irina Shayk as Megara
• Joe Anderson
• Tamina Snuka
• Barbara Palvin as Antimache
• Tobias Santelmannas Rhesus
Ryan J. Condal
Hercules: The Thracian Wars
by Steve Moore
The Associated Press contributed to this report.