If “Fast Five” taught us nothing else, it’s that if you want to immeasurably improve an action film, all you need to do is throw The Rock at it. But what do you do if The Rock is already in your action movie? Well, you hire an up-and-coming European actor, of course. Aksel Hennie starred in last year’s “Headhunters” alongside “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which debuted to great reviews and grossed a healthy $15 million worldwide on its way to securing a BAFTA nomination. Hennie was excellent in it as the weasely anti-hero Roger Brown, and his reward seems to be a fun-sounding role in Brett Ratner’s forthcoming “Hercules” with Dwayne Johnson.
Hennie will play Tydeus in the MGM–Paramount movie, a twin-axe wielding warrior who is devoted to Johnson’s Hercules. He’s apparently also such a madman that he needs to be chained up at night while he sleeps… we can see Hennie having a lot of fun with this. Ratner’s take on Hercules will reposition the son of Zeus as a mere mortal – but a mere mortal with a fearsome reputation who leads a team of mercenaries (of whom Hennie is the first to be announced) into a job where not all is as it first appears. Hey, it’s The Greekxpendables!
As hard as it is to look forward to a Brett Ratner movie, we can’t help but be cautiously optimistic about any action film with The Rock in it, and this latest piece of casting certainly isn’t going to dampen that optimism. Plus, “Tower Heist” wasn’t all that terrible, and… no, sorry, that’s all we’ve got when it comes to Ratner. As for Hennie, we’ll likely see him again soon in his English-language debut “The Last Knights” (which wrapped recently) with Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, while his latest Scandinavian effort “Pioneer” which co-stars Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang, snagged North American distribution in Berlin last week. [THR]