In this adaptation, the tale is kept true in the fact that Hercules is the son of Zeus, who is the lead god in ancient Greece. However, Zeus had an affair with a mortal woman, so Hercules is a demi-god. Zeus’ wife Hera is very angry and set out to kill Hercules! Instead, she set him a challenge, twelve labours to endure. Should he survive them, he may live.
Then the tale cuts to Hercules’ cousin telling the tales, the cousin has been held captive by a gang of thugs. Hercules shows up to save his cousin and has his own gang to help him fight.
This Hercules and his troop are mercenaries going from town to town, destroying monsters or running other gangs outta town – for a price! The profits are spilt between them. To one gang he says, ‘Die or leave, I still get paid!’
In the local inn a woman approaches Hercules with an offer to help their town. Her father Lord Cotys, King of Thrace, will pay Hercules in gold the amount – will be based on Hercules weight! (So it’ll be a lot of gold!)
Then there’s another flashback where Hercules seems to be married with kids. Then something terrible has happened to them. Is this why Hercules lives like an outcast?
One of his gang is a Seer Amphiaraus, (Ian McShane – Lovejoy). Arriving at Lord Cotys’ (John Hurt) camp, the man has a reduced army with only farmers to replace his fallen warriors. Hercules must train the army. Steve Peacock, (Brax in Home & Away), plays one of the farmers I think.
Lord Cotys’ enemy is a man called Rheseus. Who is rumoured to have centaurs at his command. In their search for him, they go through mountains ranges and travel far. Hercules’ cousin tries to sneak in the army to join in the battle but Hercules spots him and makes him go in the chariot that Lord Cotys’ will be riding, under maximum protection.
Visions of a three headed wolf and nightmares about his murdered family haunt him. Did the beast of Hades’ strike his family during the night to get at him? Had Hera driven him mad and made him kill them? Why can’t he remember the night clearly? What did happen? Is the beast his final challenge to appease Hera, so it will continue to chase him forever?
There comes a massive battle as Rheseus has hidden an army who ambush them. Only Hercules’ idea to use the chariots saves the day. But that battle was only the warm up act, there’s still Rhesus to face and the shocks in store may unhinge Hercules.
This movie was very good. A likeable hero, aided by good friends. A very different take on the legend, where swearing is prevalent. I’m not sure ancient Greece knew those words!
The scenery was amazing, sweeping mountain views, whooshing across forests and valleys. That was breathtaking. Excellent CGI and many twists and turns ensure an enjoyable ride.
8/10 from me. It would’ve been a ten but for the swearing, which I didn’t think was necessary and it did bring the tone down.
Image reproduced from wikipedia.com
Trailer reproduced from CBMTrailers
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