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Mythology (Greek/Roman) has always enthralled, mystified me; the gods and their antics were captivating, primarily because of the mischief and mayhem they wrought upon themselves and mere mortals; there were no boundaries or an appropriate code of behavior that applied to them; Mount Olympus had to be destructively boring to inspire such “devilry” in those with divine attributes.

Also, their capacity for mean-spiritedness, vengeance, jealousy and creative cruelty, set a precedent, that few earthlings could imitate or execute; consider the eternity -sentences of Sisyphus, Narcissus, Tantalus; but it was in the realm of impregnation that the gods achieved the greatest notoriety, especially King  “Zeus”, the archetypical, pansexual predator; pre-eminent master of disguise; insatiable, lustful appetite, requited at whim, in any form he found titillating: swan, snake, goat, nymph, whatever it took to accomplish his deed; overwhelmingly feckless, he appears to “Alcmene” , Hercules’s mother, as her husband, “Amphitryon” thus Hercules bursts forth; solidifying the jealous wrath of “Hera”, wife of Zeus, whose major task was keeping track of her husband’s profligate libido and the countless progeny sprouting from this caddish vow-breaker.

“Hercules”, (Directed by Brett Ratner) marvelously depicted by Adonis-like Dwayne Johnson, is a disambiguation of previous tales of the mythic leviathan; his strength, colossal championing of Hera’s 12 Labors, haunting visions of his dead wife and children all glowingly, gorily magnified; but instead of being “celestial” his humanness, and vulnerability transcend his wondrous feats. He and his band of mercenaries (formidable casting and performances by Ian McShane, Rufus Sewall, Ingrid Bolso Berdal) hired by “King Cotys” (John Hurt) to save Thrace from interlopers; violence, realistically digitalized vivisections, decapitations, subterfuge, blood and carnage saturate the screen; but the film is taut, transitions glibly blend into a fast-paced, highly entertaining scenario; one that may not resonate forever, but for a short time the viewer experiences a flavorful morsel of an era that might not have been, but for millenniums, fascinates.



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