Hercules

  • Review Date: July 25, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Predictable adventure has lots of violence, decent actors.
  • Review Date: July 25, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid the many violent battle scenes, this take on Hercules has a valuable lesson about the importance of protecting the disenfranchised and oppressed -- and also of having your friend's back when he needs help.

Positive role models

Hercules and his crew are all extremely loyal to each other, even though they're mercenaries who fight for gold.

Violence

Lots of fight scenes and battle sequences that lead to a hefty body count. People are killed with weapons (spears, arrows, knives, scythes, etc.) and by wolves and falling structures. There are also potentially jump-worthy scenes in the flashback when Hercules defeats the lion, hydra, and boar. Although many people die, there are only a few emotional deaths or moments: A boy's life is threatened, a woman is nearly executed, and a family is killed by hungry wolves.

Sex

Brief flashbacks to Hercules' dead wife kissing him; in one scene, she's shown nude from the back (her behind is shown, but it's a fast glimpse, and the memory turns to bloodier thoughts). Some innuendo/double entendres.

Language

A singular, meant-to-be-humorous use of the word "f--king," as well as occasional (but not frequent) use of the words "s--t" and "ass."
 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

People in the background eat and drink at a feast.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hercules stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as an older and more experienced version of the legendary warrior. Directed by Brett Ratner and based on a comic book, the movie has lots of action/fantasy violence, a high body count (people are killed in battle, as well as by wolves and crushed by falling structures), and a scene in which a boy's life is threatened. There's also occasional but not frequent strong language (mostly "s--t," plus one "f--king") and brief flashbacks of Hercules' wife looking sultry, kissing or even disrobing (her behind is shown). People unfamiliar with the legend will learn about certain aspects of it -- like Hercules' "twelve labors," including fighting the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Erymanthian Boar, and more.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on Radical comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, HERCULES doesn't focus on the mythology of the character as a demigod so much as the "legend" of him as famous warrior. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays Hercules not as a buff young man (like Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules) but as a a well-paid mercenary with a crew of specialized fighters -- his best friend, Autolycus (Rufus Sewell); seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane); Amazon Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal)' and mute but deadly Tydeus (Aksel Hennie). Hercules' young nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), is brought along as a young storyteller. When the beautiful Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson) pleads with Hercules to meet and take up arms for her father, Lord Cotys (John Hurt), against a demonic enemy, Hercules agrees. But things aren't always as they seem for Hercules, who has a painful past and a soft spot for the oppressed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Johnson is one of Hollywood's most charismatic action stars. He commits to his roles and generally plays likable heroes who are easy to root for in every movie. But his Hercules is considerably broodier than other characters Johnson has played, and he leaves the humor to his co-stars, especially McShane and Sewell. These three actors are basically the chief reasons to see this popcorn action flick, because the story and the action sequences, while mildly entertaining, are nothing spectacular -- or that you haven't already seen in countless similar movies.

The dialogue is so formulaic that moments that should be serious or poignant are eye-rollingly obvious and almost laughable. And the flashbacks to Hercules' sexy (and dead) wife disrobing and looking sultry take away from the emotional impact of her death. When Maximus in Gladiator remembered his wife, it wasn't about how sexually attractive she was but about the fact that she was his wife and the mother of his child. It's a shame that since there's no outright romance in Hercules, the director chose to add in those unnecessary scenes, as well some off-the-mark double entendres about long swords and tongues and the like. These fall flat, unlike the many subtle jokes that McShane's Amphiaraus delivers. In the end, McShane's quiet, wise, and funny seer and Sewell's sarcastic realist steal the show, but they still can't save the movie from being just another forgettable action flick. At the very least, it's better than The Legend of Hercules.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Hercules' violence. Does the fact that the battle scenes show so much violence at once make it easier to watch in some ways? Would you consider that desensitization?

  • Compare this version to other movies about Hercules. Which one(s) do you prefer, and why? Does the movie make you want to learn more about the legend?

  • Why are myths and legends so popular in pop culture?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 25, 2014
DVD release date:November 4, 2014
Cast:Dwayne The Rock Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
Director:Brett Ratner
Studios:Paramount Pictures, MGM/UA
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity

This review of Hercules was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous July 25, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Better than I thought it would be!

This is a violent film where you see many angles of dead bodies and some blood is shown. This film is the closest it can get to an R-rating. There is a scene were a woman takes off her robe you can see her back down for about a single second, overall it was quite unnecessary. There is one use of the f-word and a few other various swear words.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written byStevie111 July 25, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Really good but INCREDIBLY VIOLENT

This movie is quite violent and graphic, worse than some R's. The corpses were shown in detail including a family being dragged off by wolves. Dead children are shown. Blood is splattered across a wall as it is implied a family is being slaughtered. Frequent brutal violence. This was on the same level as the Expendables movies, which are quite violent R rated Movies, which this should've been. On top of all the violence, there was a brief shot of a breast and butt, crude comments, and an f-bomb. There are some decent messages too. It's a really good action movie, but EXTREMELY VIOLENT. This is absolutely NOT PG-13 WORTHY.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 1, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

A-W-S-O-M-E

Waaaay better than you would think. Quite a bit stabbing, shooting, ect.. But humorous! Pretty good message about fighting for the right side. And for fans of Dwayne Johnson, A MUST SEE!! But in a moment, when Hercules has a flashback of his dead wife her butt is shown in an instant. Good message about friendship. One "f" word, which is pretty ridiculous considering its back in BC.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byMustafa Ismail July 25, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

i watch the trailer and i hate it

it use of the words "s--t" and "a--", the violence like R movie!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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