Strap on your swordbelt, buckle your sandals and oil up your rippling six-pack, because here comes yet another interminable, CGI-drenched mythic mish-mash with far more money than brain cells. Dwayne Johnson (we’re no longer allowed to call him The Rock) plays the title character who – in this loose adaptation of Steve Moore’s comic book series – is a mercenary warrior who uses inflated tales of his divine parentage and epic labours to psych out his enemies. Hired – along with a ragtag band of sidekicks who include a seer (Ian McShane), a wisecracking archer (Rufus Sewell) and a Swedish ninja with dreadlocks (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) – to defend the kingdom of Thrace against a mysterious enemy, Hercules soon finds his past coming back to haunt him in the form of Joseph Fiennes sporting a worrying blond mullet.
Given that its director is the widely derided Brett Ratner (‘Rush Hour’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’), it’s no great surprise that ‘Hercules’ is a complete mess: the plot barely hangs together, the characters are meagrely sketched and the 3D digital effects are plasticky, indistinct and wearying to look at. The script contains a handful of decent comic asides and there’s one great mid-battle moment where Herc throws a horse, but on the whole this is decidedly non-legendary.