Director Renny Harlin, (Deep Blue Sea, Die Harder) has had success in the past but this isn’t his best work. However, the 3D experience makes it a fun watch as you bat away flaming arrows and dodge sword thrusts, among other things. With a 12 Certification, this film is pitched about right.
The film is set in Greece 1200BC and the army of King Amphitryon, (Scott Adkins, The Bourne Ultimatum) of Tires is about to invade Argos. This is the bit where you start batting arrows out of the way, as the army besieges the coast of Argos. When the two armies meet, Amphitryon challenges the rival King Galenus, (Dimiter Doichinov, The Expendables 2) and champion of Argos to single combat and the victor takes the vanquished’s land and army. We see the ruthless streak in the king of Tires, he easily dispatches king Galenus. He returns to Tires victoriously to his Queen Alcmene, (Roxanne McKee, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines) however, she despises the king for his lust of gold. She prays to Hera for guidance and is told in return that she will give birth to their lands saviour, who will be the son of Zeus and called Hercules.
The only person who witnessed the act was Chiron, (Rade Serbedzija, Batman Begins) her loyal adviser and he keeps the secret for 20 years. This is where the film picks up, with Alcides/Hercules now a strapping young man. He is out with his love Hebe, (Gaia Weiss, Mary Queen of Scots). This is a clandestine meeting and a search party is sent out to find them, lead by Alcides’s older brother Iphicles, (Liam Garrigan, 24: Live Another Day). Hebe is a princess of Crete and is a great catch, but not for Alcides, as his brother has designs on the beautiful Hebe. When Alcides takes down a lion that attacks him and his brother, it is his brother who brandishes the pelt, claiming that his brother was a coward, his father announces that Hebe and Iphicles are to be married in three moons time.
When in Egypt he is under the command of Captain Sotiris, (Liam McIntyre, Spartacus: War of the Damned). This is where Alcides and Sotiris become friend after they are the only survivors of their army.
Now the adventures really begin as Alcides begins to believe his lineage and starts to reveal the power of a son of their God, with super strength and quick wits and gifts from his father, they fight their way back to his love, Hebe.
Can Hercules overcome the trials set before him, whilst his audience dodge great lumps of rock?
Great fun popcorn film, turn historical brain off, put your 3D glasses on and enjoy a romp with sand and arrows between your toes.