Hercules (2014) Parent Guide
"Hercules" does deserve a pat on his impenetrable leather armor for making good moral and ethical choices that require sacrifice.
Parent Movie Review
What’s a demigod to do? Due to emotional trauma (that is slowly revealed within this thin plotline) Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) has hit hard times. Resorting to seeking employment as a mercenary, the muscle bound legend has gathered a team of ragtag warriors to work with him. When King Eurystheus (Joseph Fiennes) hears the son of Zeus is available for hire he makes an offer that strikes straight at his Achilles heel. Before long the mighty Hercules finds himself leading the king’s timid and untrained army in a fight against some nasty faction that is headed their way.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Hercules moves at a rapid pace in a day when many moviemakers working in the epic hero genre feel a need to keep audiences in their seats just to prove how important they think they are. Thank you. My popcorn was barely finished. Better yet, they inject a good dose of humor, even while Dwayne Johnson does his best to play his demigod role in a Charlton Heston “Moses mode.” This guy’s not pulled off his pedestal by some sultry woman. Instead he’s focused on training the king’s legions with motivational speeches that could make a diehard pacifist want to punch his teddy bear. Finally, by subtly offering reasonable suggestions for Hercules’ power, the script plays with the half-god, half-man premise in an interesting way, leaving us questioning his supposed divine origins.
So what’s not to like? Well, we expect a “swords and sandals” flick like this to come with a great deal of violence—and this one delivers. During one of the near-nonstop battle scenes, our Hero jumps on the back of a chariot and extends a couple of blades so he can mow down soldiers like a human weed-whacker. Other altercations take lives with virtually every pre-firearm weapon imaginable, including arrows, swords, knives, clubs and whips. And although the film holds back on spattering blood effects, we often see stacks of corpses on the ground, many soaked in blood.
In the ten or fifteen minutes of this film when people have time to chat, you can also expect a few profanities and sexual innuendos. Thankfully they are infrequent, but even in this ancient Greek realm you will hear some relatively contemporary scatological curses and a sexual expletive. A couple of these conversations take place with drinks in hand and there is evidence of some characters having had a few too many. And in one case it is suggested the cause of inebriation may be from taking “herbs.” Finally, a very brief view of a naked woman from the rear and some low-cut dresses literally flesh out the otherwise limited sexual content.
Hercules does deserve a pat on his impenetrable leather armor for making good moral and ethical choices that require sacrifice. But, like so many films that want to suggest violence only leads to more violence and unhappiness, this movie tries to make that point by appealing to those who find entertainment and happiness from violent depictions in movies.Directed by Brett Ratner. Starring Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release July 25, 2014. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Hercules (2014) rated PG-13? Hercules (2014) is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity.
Violence: This movie includes frequent battle scenes with countless characters being beaten, stabbed and shot at with arrows. Characters are literally mowed down by a man riding a chariot with blades extending out the sides. Scenes show stacks of corpses on the ground, some are shown in detail with blood effects. A man is seen fighting numerous huge beasts that are eventually defeated; later he opens a bag that reveals a large serpent’s head and a human head. A man licks blood from a rotting head on a spit. A statue crushes a man. Brief mention is made of women being “spoiled”, suggesting they were raped.
Sexual Content: A woman is briefly seen naked from the rear. Infrequent sexual innuendos are heard, including a couple of bondage remarks. A woman gives birth to a baby, we briefly see the naked child (covered in some blood). A couple of women are seen in low cut dresses. A female warrior is dressed in a leather bra and shorts. A brief mention of implied rape is heard.
Language: A single sexual expletive, at least three scatological terms and other infrequent profanities are heard.
Drugs/Alcohol: Characters are seen drinking, and a couple of them appear to be inebriated. One characters suggests another has been “taking herbs,” implying he’s using drugs.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Hercules (2014) Parents' Guide
A female character in this film is one of Hercules’ warriors. While fighting in the many battle scenes she wears only a leather bra-type top and leather shorts while her male cohorts are covered in leather armor. This is not an unusual depiction in movies and the reason the creators of this film made this costume choice is obvious. However do you find this portrayal somewhat comedic? Would you have found it unusual if she was dressed in similar fashion as the men? Do you think her attire makes her appear braver or less intelligent?
The half-god, half-man idea is very popular in classical and modern literature. Why does this premise have an enduring appeal? How do these two traits contrast? Have you ever wished you had metaphysical powers?
One character says, “The world needs a hero [people] can believe in!” What does he mean by this? Is there a difference in believing in something or someone versus having faith? What traits do we tend to look for in heroes today?
Learn more about the mythological character of Hercules.
The most recent home video release of Hercules (2014) movie is November 4, 2014. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: Hercules
Release Date: 4 November 2014
Dwayne Johnson's version of Herules releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following bonus extras:
- Theatrical & Extended Cuts
- Theatrical Commentary by director Brett Ratner and producer Beau Flynn
- An Introduction: Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson
- Hercules and his Mercenaries - Delve into the story behind the team assembled by Hercules for his perilous missions and the skills required of them.
- Weapons! - Exploration of the weapons created for the spectacular action scenes, including training with the actors.
- The Bessi Battle - Discover how one of the major action sequences of the film was created with the filmmakers, actors, stunt team, make-up effects and more.
- The Effects of Hercules - A behind-the-scenes look at the film's spectacular visual effects.
- 15 Deleted/Extended Scenes
Related home video titles:
This legend of Greek and Roman myth has been adapted to the big screen before in Disney’s Hercules and The Legend of Hercules (also known as: Hercules: The Legend Begins). Other children who are the offspring of human/god couplings are featured in the movies Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.