Geoff Cox’s DVD reviews: Hercules, The Inbetweeners 2, The Purge: Anarchy

Hercules

Hercules

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An ancient Greek warrior becomes famous as highly exaggerated tales of his exploits spread throughout the land in HERCULES (12: Paramount) .

He is forced to live up to his mythological status when he joins forces with a group of mercenaries to restore a deposed king to his rightful throne.

Several Hercules movies have been made recently and this is by far the most successful as it finds the correct balance between self-deprecating humour, heart and epic action.

Hercules (an imposing Dwayne Johnson) and his five-man army of loyal followers are hired to train the Thracian army to fight an evil warlord. But the muscle-bound hero learns too late it’s a double-cross, part of a plan for megalomaniac King Cotys (John Hurt) to rule Greece.

The story plods in places and the only companion of Hercules to really register is Ian McShane’s seer with his amusing death predictions.

Yet the cracks are papered over with incredibly exciting battle scenes, bladed chariot combat and warrior hordes, enhanced by CGI that sends the adrenaline racing.

> The follow-up to The Inbetweeners Movie is unlikely to win over non-fans, but series devotees will enjoy this latest outing for the kings of uncool.

THE INBETWEENERS 2 (15: Entertainment In Video) sees Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) head Down Under to reunite with Jay (James Buckley), who boasts of his new life in Oz.

Motivated by various romantic entanglements, the boys embark on a backpacking adventure that will see them flirt with disaster once again. While sticking with a familiar approach in terms of humour, enough freshness and conflict is mixed in to guarantee this is no mere retread.

There’s a hint of heart underneath the swearing and gross-out comedy. Although you may find yourself hiding behind your fingers at Will’s fireside serenade, or Neil’s dolphin encounter, most of the film’s success lies in teetering between hilarious and unbearable.

> The provocative premise of The Purge, released in 2013, was that for 12 hours every year, all crime goes without punishment.

It was essentially a watchable siege movie, but by the end of incident-packed sequel THE PURGE: ANARCHY (15: Universal) it’s evident that an intriguing idea might be stretching itself a tad too far.

Instead of one well-to-do family under attack, here it’s a soon-to-separate couple, a single mum and her daughter and a tooled-up loner.

They’re on the downtown streets and at the mercy of paramilitaries, masked biker gangs and other loons eager to “release the beast”.

> Miami street dancer Sean Asa (Ryan Guzman) moves to Hollywood with visions of fame and fortune, only to discover the almost insurmountable odds of making it in the professional dance world in STEP UP 5: ALL IN (PG: Universal).

But when the new dance crew he forms with the beautiful and headstrong Andie West (Briana Evigan) reaches the final rounds of a high-stakes reality TV competition in Las Vegas, he has a shot at finally making his dreams come true –if he can set aside old loyalties and rivalries.

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