Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.
1400 B.C., a tormented soul walked the Earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) was the powerful son of the god King Zeus. For this, he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labors, and the death of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years, he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting, and the presence of death. These men and women never question where they go to fight, or why, or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now, the King of Thrace, Lord Cotys (Sir John Hurt) has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen, when they must train an army to become as ruthless and bloodthirsty as their reputation has become.Written by
During shooting of the scene where Hercules breaks free of his chains, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stated that he "blacked out" after every take, "I asked the prop department to lock me in with real steel chains that I couldn't break, so the performance would be real. When Hercules finally accepts his fate of being the son of Zeus, it's the epic moment of the mythology, and our movie. We shot this scene eight times. I blacked out every time. Down to my knees. Well worth the pain. This moment is iconic. I'm excited for you to see it." See more »
After Hercules' fight with the wolves, he is bitten in numerous places (neck, leg, arm), yet when he stands after the statue falls, there is no blood on his neck nor are there are bite marks. [He also showed a remarkable lack of pain] See more »
When the credits roll, there is a 3d animation sequence going over Hercules' labors against the beasts which shows how his companions helped him to slay them. See more »
The theatrical version was pre-cut following advice from the BBFC to remove "bloody detail" in three scenes, in order to obtain a 12A rating. These cuts persisted into every theatrical version worldwide and was the version also released on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK. See more »
Gets better after 20 minutes, tries to be different
Firstly, the film has a slow start. We see almost motion comic footage of Hercules doing his 12 labours in slideshow form, with Hercules face hidden in silhouette. So I felt a little cheated. Then we have a scene which tries to set up what makes this version of the main character different than any other version we have seen before. I wont give it away, as its basically what the film is about. But it tries to play with our knowledge of him.
It doesn't ignore the back story of his wife and kids, but glosses over those parts until it becomes necessary to divulge that information. Again, i think it would have been better to see it, rather than be told what happened. I knew his history and so was wondering if they would portray this properly. Instead they do something to set-up a villain for the end which I wont give away. Just know that they do tie up all lose ends as needed, but a prior knowledge of who this character is and what he has done does help the viewer understand his motivations and his life up to this point.
Its when the big war starts that you really sit up and start paying attention. Somehow watching the Rock talk doesn't interest you, but when the fighting starts with the epic 200 people battle sequences, you suddenly see where the budget went, the fights are fantastic!
What is really great is how Hercules and his band of merry men (and woman) use smarts to outwit the enemy rather than simply use strength each time. That was clever. From the moment of that first fight the film moves up a notch and becomes excellent entertainment.
Its a historical film and tries to be serious about its overall message. Dwayne does a good job but he's not going to win any awards for this. The other cast members actions are predictable and sufficient. But don't really add much to the plot. They could have been written out and it would have changed nothing.
The running length is long enough to feel satisfied and not so long that it overstays its welcome. The plot twists you see coming a mile away but at least it tries to do them. Other than one characters actions near the end which was so obvious it was stupid to include.
In conclusion, its worth watching. It takes it times to grab you, but once it does it doesn't let go. There are a few stretches of how strong Hercules is, but not enough for you to hate it. The 3D has its moments, but like most films I would rather have watched it in 2D as I don't think it made a major difference and its more comfortable not having to wear those glasses with my head upright the entire time.
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