Commander Raiden (Clive Owen) of the seventh rank is a skilled and gifted soldier, who rose from bloody battle during the Great Wars with an unwavering loyalty for his ageing but resolutely brave master Bartok (Morgan Freeman), despite the latter having been dishonoured and shamed by the corrupt ruler for publicly standing up for the rights of his enslaved people. After his brutal execution, all those firmly loyal to Bartok - led by Raiden - seek to avenge him in the only way they know how, with Bartok's warning of their ruler's merciless intentions strongly in mind. Raiden will lead them into the ultimate battle, in spite of their small numbers, having made far too many sacrifices in their lifetime. As his rebellion unfolds, he begins to understand that, despite what the rule claims, no honourable man can ever be 'dishonoured'; it is something inborn, and something worth fighting for.
Continue: Last Knights
Beau Flynn, Aksel Hennie, Reece Ritchie, Ian McShane, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Dwayne Johnson, Irina Shayk, Rufus Sewell and Brett Ratner - European premiere of 'Hercules' at CineStar IMAX im Sony Center in Berlin - Arrivals - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 21st August 2014
Far more entertaining than it has any right to be, this is a big, messy blockbuster retelling of the Greek myth that thankfully has a sharp sense of humour and some surprising twists up its sleeve. The cast is also packed with veteran performers who know how to make the most of some eyebrow-raising innuendo, generating intrigue while keeping the audience laughing with them rather than at them.
The premise takes a revisionist approach, grounding the legend of the demigod Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) in real stories that have been exaggerated by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who travels with him as a kind of toga-era marketing expert. Their team of mercenaries includes wryly fatalistic seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), quick-witted blade-thrower Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), bow-wielding amazon Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and loyal mute warrior Tydeus (Aksel Hennie). When they're offered a fortune by Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to quell a rebellion, they find themselves in the middle of a massive battle that doesn't go the way they expected. And as events take unforeseen turns, Hercules and his gang have to dig deep to turn the tide in their favour.
Johnson is a natural in the role, so massively pumped up that he looks like he could be popped with a pin. His hulking physique and just enough back-story give the character's reputation some weight, both literally and figuratively, so even if he's not half-god his achievements are still pretty impressive. (There are also plenty of hints that he may turn out to be a god after all.) And the surrounding characters add to this with cleverly written roles that are expertly played by British scene-stealers Hurt, McShane, Sewell, Mullan and Fiennes. McShane is so good that he essentially walks off with the whole movie. But relative newcomers Ritchie, Hennie and Berdal more than hold their own.
Continue reading: Hercules Review
Following his deadly ordeal of being put through the Twelve Labours by his father Zeus and his people, all Hercules wants from life is to rest quietly with a loving family. Unfortunately for him, now is not the time for resting as the gods have delivered another bout of chaos to the world. Being well known by all as a man with all the strength of a god, Hercules is forced to lead a battle against a new menace as the King of Thrace gets him and some like minded warriors to band together as the world's most formidable army. They must defeat a powerful rival general as the vicious descendents of Hades infect the land. It's a deadly mission, the minions of hell being immortal and ruthless, and their defeat can only be accomplished by someone with power above the mortal realm.
Continue: Hercules - Extended Trailer
Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Irina Shayk, Aksel Hennie, Reece Ritchie, John Hurt and Brett Ratner - 'Hercules' Photocall held on Trafalgar Square. - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 2nd July 2014
A palpable sense of menace infuses this slow-burning Norwegian thriller, which is based on shocking, unsettling real-life events. Anchored by a terrific central performance from Aksel Hennie (Headhunters), the film sometimes strains to force the true story into a standard conspiracy movie structure. But it still has a bracing sense of urgency.
Hennie stars as Petter, Norway's top deep-sea diver, who in the early 1980s is recruited by the state-owned oil company to work with the Americans to lay a pipeline on the ocean floor connecting the mainland with off-shore drilling platforms. But this is uncharted territory for divers who will be working up to 400 metres below the surface. And when a test dive takes a fatal turn, Petter isn't convinced it was an accident. He certainly doesn't trust American diver Mike (Wes Bentley), but then everyone else is just as shifty.
Intriguingly, filmmaker Skjoldbjaerg shoots this in a gritty 1980s style tinged with the increasingly frazzled Petter's tenuous grip on reality. Diving this deep does something to the brain, so perhaps this is all in his mind. But Hennie is so likeable that we struggle with him to work out the truth, which means travelling through a Hitchcockian thriller in which everyone seems to be trying to kill him. This is fiercely clever filmmaking that's only let down because it's too clever for its own good.
Continue reading: Pioneer Review
Hercules is a bitter and haunted demi-god filled with resentment for the people and the gods (including his father Zeus) who put him through the Twelve Labours; a series of arduous tasks that saw him dance with death on a number of occasions. Now, alone and with no family of any kind to turn to, his only comfort in the world is fighting to the death in battle, alongside a group of other like-minded warriors who similarly have nothing left to live for. However, they face a challenge of a more ominous kind when the King of Thrace enlists them to train up as the most formidable army ever created in a bid to overthrow a powerful general. This is a fight of a different kind for Hercules; he may have more strength than the average man, but just how far will that take him?
Dwayne Johnson stars as Hercules in the latest adaptation of the Greco-Roman myth. Based on the graphic novel 'Hercules: The Thracian Wars' by Steve Moore, the movie has been directed by Brett Ratner ('Rush Hour', 'X-Men: The Last Stand', 'Red Dragon') and written by Ryan Condal ('The Sixth Gun') and Evan Spiliotopoulos ('The Nutty Professor', 'Battle for Terra'). 'Hercules' is scheduled for UK cinematic release on August 8th 2014.