Pick of the week: “The Hurt Locker” — My full review is here. Kathryn Bigelow’s unrelenting tense 2009 Oscar winner follows a three-man bomb squad in Iraq, trying to stay ahead of insurgents who have made every patch of ground a potential deathtrap. Bigelow rivals Michael Mann in her staging of spectacular, nerve-shredding action sequences that illuminate the character of the people involved.
“Hercules” is now playing at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema. 2 hours, PG-13, three stars out of four.
For once, I’m happy to have been lied to by a movie trailer. The trailer for “Hercules” shows Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (if ever there was a movie for him to use “The Rock,” this is it) fighting giant lions, boars, even a multi-headed Hydra sea serpent. Yet another super-serious swords-‘n’-sorcery CGI fest, right?
In truth, all those battles happen in the first five minutes of “Hercules,” and there’s some doubt as to whether they really happened or are an exaggerated legend. In truth, this is a refreshingly unpretentious “Hercules” with human-sized heroes and villains. It’s really more like a Western — specifically, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” with killer pecs.