Can The Rock turn Brett Ratner's 'Hercules' into a franchise?
Generally speaking, I love Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson enough to suffer through most crimes of cinema just to get to spend a while hanging out with Mr Epic Cheat Day.
After all, I endured Journey 2: The Mysterious Island just to experience his "pec pop of love" in glorious, glorious 3D:
I believe, however, I am about to reach the limit of what I can hack in my love for The Rock, and that limit appears to be "Brett Ratner's Hercules".
The noted auteur was indirectly responsible for the greatest thing ever to happen online, which was the official X-Men Forums' "Ask Brett Ratner a question" day (a kind of Reddit AMA precursor) upon the release of his X-Men: The Last Stand, which soon saw the entire front page of the forum devolve into thread titles that included gems like "You Suck At Life":
ANYWAY, now Ratner has turned his hand to sword-'n'-sandal epic filmmaking, and has adapted Radical Comics' series Hercules. It's coming into the 2014 summer season as an underdog, having been made for "only" $110m and going up against Guardians Of The Galaxy and Jupiter Ascending.
The first trailer is here and, welp:
Forbes has an interesting analysis of whether or not Johnson will be able to carry a franchise solo (his track record is to join existing franchises and boost their box office): "Hercules has nothing to offer beyond Dwayne Johnson as a somewhat iconic action hero. This is no ensemble piece or established franchise. This is Dwayne Johnson’s 'face on the poster' test. Of course it’s also a chance for Brett Ratner to score a controversy-free hit after the underrated Tower Heist ($152 million off a $75m budget) was overshadowed by a foot-in-mouth comment that angered the gay community right and cost him his Oscar ceremony producing gig, but that’s for another day."
I have one burning question, though: is it just me, or does that inexplicable mouth-agape final shot after the title card in the trailer remind you of the ending of Sleepaway Camp?
Just me then? Ok. Hercules opens July 25th.