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The Legend of Hercules | 2014 | PG-13 | - 3.7.2

In this treatment of the Greek legend Hercules (Kellan Lutz) is the demigod son of the Zeus and a mortal woman, Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee). After King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) betrays him, Hercules finds himself abandoned and sold as a slave because of his love for the Princess of Crete, Hebe (Gaia Weiss). Using superhuman powers Hercules fights to return to his kingdom and assume the throne. Also with Liam Garrigan, Liam McIntyre and Rade Serbedzija. Directed by Renny Harlin. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A female oracle tells a woman that Zeus lusts after the woman and asks her to bear a son with Zeus to give the people a new king and the woman agrees; later that night, the queen lies under a blanket on her bed and a wind whistles into the room as we see her levitate about two feet into the air where she arches her back and gasps (presumably in sexual pleasure); the king enters the room with a woman in his arms, charges to the bed and pulls the blanket from the queen, revealing her clothed and alone.
 A shirtless man wearing long pants lies on a sheepskin rug in the grass with a woman covered with a sheet (her back and shoulders are bare); they kiss, he lies on top of her and the scene ends (sex is implied). A man and a woman stand at the edge of a river and kiss several times; they repeat the kissing at the river in another scene and they say, "I love you" to each other.
 In a shot from the waist up two clothed women sponge dirt off the bare shoulders, arms and chest of a man after a battle.
 A man asks his younger son if he took his older brother's fiancée's maidenhood and the younger son replies, "None of your business." At a celebration a king announces the engagement of his son and a princess, but the princess gasps and runs out of the building. A woman tells her son that a bride for his arranged marriage does not want the marriage; he asks how to win her heart and the woman replies that his father won hers for only a second and that she has been unhappy ever since. A woman says that she never loved her husband in their arranged marriage. A husband asks his wife how many lovers she has had and she replies only one, the god Zeus and that was only to bear a son to take over the kingdom. At a wedding altar a bride tells the groom that she loves another man and always will; the groom stares coldly at her and the scene ends.
 A husband sits alone while listening to labor screams in another room and we see his wife holding a large baby. A bedroom scene shows a clothed husband and wife lying in bed with their new baby.
 A few men are seen bare-chested, also revealing bare backs, arms and shoulders. A few women wear sleeveless, scoop-necked, floor-length gowns that reveal a little cleavage and bare arms. A woman falls into a river in her gown and comes out with the clinging garment accentuating her figure as we see her back and hips.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Two men enter an arena with two larger men that have scarred faces and metal spikes on leather armor on their shoulders and forearms and they fight as two teams with swords, axes, a trident, spears, a large hammer, arrows, kicks and punches; a few jumping and twirling kicks are seen in slow motion and each of the two smaller men is driven head first into a wall and one of them falls over a short wall and is stabbed in the shoulder (we see a little blood); he climbs back up and his teammate stabs one of the opponents in the back, killing him (no blood) and strikes the other opponent in the crotch, slides around him, and stabs him in the back, killing him as well, as the crowd cheers. Men in chains are led to fight in a boxing ring filled with a foot of muddy water and where male spectators stand around the ring and chant "Fight, fight!"; a winner limps out of the ring and two other men enter and fight with punches, kicks and clubbings that send them flying and the smaller of the two men punches the other man in the groin, breaks his arm and holds his head under water until death.
 A husband confronts his wife, pushes her and she draws a knife, which he pushes into her heart (no blood flows); she dies, and the man tells a priest who enters that she took her own life in grief over her deceased son. A man stabs a king in the heart with a sword (no blood flows).
 Dead warrior bodies, helmets and swords float underwater in an ocean scene and we see two warships sailing close to each other as warriors fight with swords; knives and spears penetrate bodies that fall (no blood is shown) and fireballs come toward the audience, launched by catapults; smoke fills the screen, then parts to show warriors on the grounds of a palace with fires burning in places as two armies face off with drawn spears, swords and arrows; the leaders of the armies decide to duel to spare their men and one leader shouts "Prepare to die!"; the fight contains sword slashes, kicks, punches and throws (sweat appears on the combatants but no blood) before one leader stabs his sword into the ground and fights barehanded, lifting the other man high in the air by the throat and dropping him; the dropped man lies on his back, unmoving, as the other man declares himself the winner.
 Greek warriors ride horses through hot sand to a cave with a well where several men explore inside and on returning find two of their men hanging from the doorway of the cave, and dozens of warrior bodies lying on the ground, dead and stuck full of long arrows; Egyptian soldiers appear and swordfights occur between the enemies and we see arrows stabbing shields, as some men fall with arrows stuck in their chest and back (no blood), presumably dead; many men fall to swords and spears without blood shown and one man takes two arrows to the chest as others shout loudly, jump in the air, and punch and kick (sometimes in slow motion); the Egyptian leader threatens to kill two surviving Greeks but sends them to Italy as slaves. An army of Greek warriors and villagers with farming implements and torches marches on a palace at night; the doors open to let dozens of warriors out and archers on the outer wall kill the emerging men (no blood), because they want to join the other side; the attacking army enters the plaza and their leader confronts the king and the two men duel until the king runs inside; lightning strikes the other man's sword, giving him the power of electric bolts that he sends cutting through the opposing army, killing hundreds of men with loud sparking, and then runs inside to pursue the king and after they fight briefly the man chokes the king; the man's brother enters the room and he is seen choking the woman the first man loves and holding a knife to her chest and the woman pushes the knife into her upper chest and some blood appears at her back (she falls to the floor, but is not dead); the first man fights with swords and kicks, slashing the king's back and the backs of his thighs (no blood) until the king falls and the man stabs a sword into the floor beside the king's head.
 Thousands of men and women are shown gathered in a Greek arena for a death match between a slave and six gladiators, one of whom is a woman, as an MC announces that the crowd will see a pile of bloody guts; one man with a sword fights all the other six entrants at once with weapons, kicks and punches (no blood is shown); the opponent fighters have a trident, a net, swords and spears and the lone man stabs four men, knocks one in the head with a club and tangles the woman in her own net, pinning her to the ground with a trident launched into the net.
 A man with his arms tied above his head to stone pillars and his ankles chained to the ground in a plaza is whipped (we hear and see loud lashes) and we see bloody gashes on his chest and back as he shouts in pain and a woman cries; the king gives a sword to the man's brother and commands him to kill an old priest and the man's friend; the brother stabs the priest, who falls dead and the bound man shouts to the heavens that he believes in Zeus and lighting strikes around him; he pulls the pillars down and swings two sections of stone on the ends of the ties hitting several men and killing them (no blood); the king yells for somebody to kill the man but no one is able to do so and the man cries over the priest.
 We hear loud growling and roaring from off screen as two men with spears enter a rocky area; one man suffers a large bloody slash to the temple and cheek from an invincible lion and both men's spears break against the lion before the second man strangles it successfully; the men take a lion's skin to the king and the first man lies to say that he killed the lion.
 A Greek man enters his house and finds blood on his wife's shoulder as she sits at a table (she is dead); Egyptians enter and attempt to take him captive and a fight ensues until an Egyptian uses the Greek's young son as a shield and he gives up (the Greek stops just short of stabbing the little boy and cries); the Egyptians tie up the Greek and as they break into another Greek's house.
 Soldiers use swords to menace a villager, but a man rides up on horseback, dismounts and knocks three soldiers unconscious; he ties three soldiers to their horses backwards and sends them to their king while a fourth remaining soldier runs away.
 An army chases a man and a woman to a river, where the woman falls in and the man pulls her out; during the chase, the man takes spears away from two warriors and stabs them off their horses (no blood shows). A man attempts to punch another man, who grabs his fist and twists his arm until the first man falls; the first man says, "I'll kill you" as the scene ends.
 A man threatens to kill his fiancée and say that she committed suicide before she walks out onto the edge of a roof, looks down and a priest grabs her. A king shouts outside his palace and lightning strikes a fire pit in front of him; fire rises, but a heavy rain immediately extinguishes it.
 A man and a woman argue about religion, the man stating that the people of the land are obsessed with gods and the woman says that she will keep her gods. A man shouts about other men having been in his wife's room, but finds no one. Two Greek slaves convince their master to take them to Greece to fight in the annual gladiators' tournament against six people who have never lost a fight.
 Men and women dress in black for a funeral where two warriors place a helmet and a shield on a bier that contains only logs and no body; one man lights the shield with a torch, the bier ignites and women cry.
 A man climbs a cliff wall and falls backward into a river; a woman on shore jumps in to look for him and he pops up unharmed as she says she was scared. Two men who are slaves receive brands of G for Greek on their shoulders and they wince but do not otherwise react.
 A man spits on the ground in contempt and we hear the spitting noise, but see no saliva.


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LANGUAGE 2 - 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (fool, half-wits, coward, muttering coward, miserable, gutless, tyrant, traitors, savior, mad [crazy], imposter, liar), stereotypical references to men, women, heroes, corrupt leaders, supernatural beings, rebellious villagers, 2 religious exclamations (May your mother's gods be with you, Father [Zeus] I believe in you!).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A few men drink wine from silver cups at a banquet, warriors drink wine from wooden cups on a boat, and a few male spectators hold wooden cups of wine and do not drink at a fighting match. Incense burners around a palace throne room fill the air with misty smoke.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Greek mythology, religious differences, war, death, slavery, politics, betrayal, tyranny, love, respect, leadership, integrity, courage, oracles.

MESSAGE - Accepting one's destiny leads to victory.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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