The Legend of Hercules

  • Review Date: January 10, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Mythical tale is violent and poorly executed.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Greek myths don't always have positive messages, but this one encourages people to never give up, to have hope that there's a way out of unthinkably awful situations, and to make your time with those you love count.

Positive role models

Hercules loves Hebe so much he will stop at nothing to return to her. Queen Alcmene doesn't agree with her husband's power-hungry, bloodthirsty tendencies, so she dedicates her son to be an agent of good, for the gods and their kingdom.

Violence

Mostly stylized violence like in the movie 300 with slow-motion war shots that then speed up. Lots of sword-on-sword violence but also Gladiator like arena fighting. High body count: men mostly die in battle usually from being stabbed. A man kills his wife with a dagger but makes it look like a suicide. Hercules wields the power of lightning in his sword. Men are shown hanging and speared.

Sex

One love scene between Hercules and Hebe that starts with kissing and then cuts to them discreetly under a sheet, but still caressing and kissing. In one scene, a woman moans as she is impregnated by an invisible Zeus. The king is shown touching two different women whom he ushers into his bedchambers.

Language

Some insults about Hercules' parentage ("bastard" for example) and his standing as a "second son."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Hercules is a fantasy adventure based on the Greek myth of Hercules, the demigod son of Zeus. The movie contains a mix of stylized and realistic violence that leads to a high body count: sword fights, battle scenes, hangings, and up-close deaths. Hercules and his beloved Hebe kiss passionately several times and make love once, but all that is visible is shoulders and backs.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES follows the origin story of the Greek demigod Hercules (which is actually the Roman name for Heracles), son of the god Zeus and the mortal Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee). Upset by her husband, the bloodthirsty King Amphitryon's (Scott Adkins) power-hungry wars, Alcmene begs the gods to stop him. As an answer to Alcmene's prayers, the goddess Hera allows Zeus to impregnate her with a son to be referred to as Hercules. The strapping baby boy grows up to be the barrel-chested Alcides (Kellan Lutz), who's in love with the neighboring kingdom of Crete's Princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss). Unfortunately for Hercules, his father the king betrothes his older brother (Iphicles) to Hebe. Unwilling to accept the wedding, Hercules is ordered away to Egypt, where he's sold as a slave and eventually returns to Greece as a fighter intent on winning his freedom and reclaiming the love of his life -- while also accepting his identity as Zeus' son.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Unless you are going solely for the excuse to stare at shirtless actors for 99 minutes, there's no reason to bother with Hercules. The action sequences are poor imitations of Gladiator, 300, and nearly every other ancient-legend drama, and the dialogue is laughable but not laughable enough to make the action-adventure campy or "so bad it's good."

Lutz looks and acts like a bleached and tanned college kid who spends all his time in the gym, and his beloved Princess Hebe is apparently only capable of one facial expression -- whether she's staring at a half-naked Hercules emerging from water, contemplating jumping to her death to escape an arranged marriage, or grieving her love's supposed death. The one bright spot in the cast is Liam McIntyre, who starred as Andy Whitfield's replacement on the Starz show Spartacus. He's a talented actor who deserves more than this forgettable swords-and-sandals fare.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why movies about Greek myths and legends are still so popular. What other myths do you think should be adapted into a movie?

  • Does the movie seem positioned for a sequel? Originally the movie was called Hercules: The Legend Begins but then it changed; do you think there should be a sequel?

  • Discuss the violence. Does the impact of violence change whether it's realistic or stylized?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 10, 2014
DVD release date:April 29, 2014
Cast:Gaia Weiss, Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins
Director:Renny Harlin
Studio:Summit Entertainment
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality

This review of The Legend of Hercules was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old January 12, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

COOL

Not to violent for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byndrwcd January 14, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

its offical January wont have the best movies of 2014

The sensuality in this movie added nothing,the fight scenes are obnoxious cause when ever somebody got hit,it always in slo mo which gets annoying,the costumes are dull,and terrible CGI
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byleakingrye January 19, 2014
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

No way

Not for kidz
What other families should know
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools