Robbie Wierdicht (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – and I will forever write and say it in full because I love it) is an overweight, shy kid at school, and at the final assembly, bully Trevor Olson (Jason Bateman) and his mates throw him, naked, in front of the whole school. The only one who doesn’t laugh is sports star, class captain and all round winner Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), who gives him his jacket to cover himself. Skip to twenty years later, Joyner is an accountant bored with his life, far from his glory days, in a marriage with his teenage sweetheart that is leaning towards going sour, when a guy called Bob Stone contacts him. When they meet up, it turns out it is Wierdicht – only no longer a shy fat kid, he is a musclebound hunk – and still massively geeky. And in the CIA. Or is he?
There are funny moments, for sure. But essentially, this is a pretty crap film. There just wasn’t enough to really make it good – essentially, it’s just a mismatched buddy film without enough jokes to make it worth watching.
You know Hercules, Ancient Greek legend, son of Zeus, he did these twelve near impossible labours and was just pretty awesome? So, what if it went a little differently – like that Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) was not actually the son of Zeus, but let everyone believe it to raise the price of his services? (Although he’s also still a good guy, don’t get that side of things wrong. Noble as.) What’s more, he didn’t complete the twelve labours alone – he had the top fighter and seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), his mate from school Autolycus (Rufus Sewell) , a slightly nuts feisty thing, Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) the Amazon warrior and his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie) who is the storyteller who creates the legend. Then what happens if he gets hired to help Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to teach his men to protect themselves, and Cotys has a daughter and grandson, but nothing is what he expects?
Of course I loved this. It’s a fairly decent twist on Hercules, it has Dwayne Johnson in it, and I love him, and the rest of the cast is pretty tops too. There’s humour, violence and some fabulous slow mo action. Oh, and I’d recommend paying attention during the cool animated closing credits – you get to see how the twelve labours were completed by the team working together.
There is an insane earthquake in Calfornia. It’s massive and destroys lots of stuff. Meanwhile, Ray (Dwayne Johnson), a rescue pilot, goes out of his way to save his ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino) and daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario). His daughter, abandoned by her soon-to-be step-father Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd) works with Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), an English man and his little brother Ollie (Art Parkinson). And, spoiler alert, while thousands of people die, these guys all get through.
I had a few basic issues with the film – why was Ray able to abscond with a helicopter to safe a couple of specific people rather than any of the thousands that are waiting around to be rescued. Also, poor old Daniel (oh, spoiler alert, he doesn’t make it) is painted as a wuss and loser, when in fact, he has sustained a head injury and is clearly in shock – but he is not The Rock, so he is a wuss. But let’s put those aside – this is a good old classic disaster film. Big action, crazy scenes and miraculous survival. Oh, and we get a couple of Aussies in there for fun – kudos to Hugo Johnstone-Burt who I always loved in the local Phyrne Fisher Mysteries, and yay for a quick Kylie Minogue spotting. Ace times.