What do you get when you mix WWE with Greek mythology?

A heroic demi-god reinvented as muscle for hire, fighting not for glory but for gold, says GEOFFREY EU

Published Thu, Jul 24, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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WHAT do you do with a legend like Hercules? Why, make movies, of course - lots of them. After various incarnations over the years in a variety of sword-and-sandal epics, kid- friendly Disney animated features (Hercules, 1997) and campy B-movies (The Legend of Hercules, 2014), the adventures of the son of Zeus have proven to be rock-solid fodder for filmmakers.

It's only appropriate then that the actor formerly known as The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has taken on the title role in the latest version to hit the big screen. Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner and based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, is a revisionist take on the original Greek myth, infused with modern-day sensibilities, lightweight humour and more ugly hairstyles than a convention of Premier League footballers.

It's just as well that Ratner and screenwriters Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos didn't take themselves or Hercules too seriously. Their version of the club-wielding Greco-Roman demigod with the ripped abs and the lionskin hoodie is a little bit removed from the stuff of legend. Instead, he's reinvented as muscle for hire, fighting not for glory but for gold.

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