‘Hercules’ Overview

Hercules

Hercules Movie Poster

Title: Hercules

Movie Released on: 1997

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy Music

Movie Duration: 1 hour, 33 mins. or 93 mins.

IMDb Rating: 7 star  7.2 stars

Plot: The film begins with the five muses “Goddesses of the arts and pro-claimers of heroes” telling the story of how Zeus came to power and prevented the monstrous Titans from ruling the world. This leads to the day Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera, much to the pleasure of the other gods except Hades, who receives word from the Fates that Hercules will one day rise to power and prevent him from taking control of the world. He sends his minions, Pain and Panic (a duo reminiscent of Ares’s mythological sons, Deimos (dread) and Phobos (fear)), to kidnap Hercules and feed him a potion that will strip him of his immortality; however, they are interrupted and, while Hercules becomes mortal, he retains his god-like strength (for the potion to fully work, Hercules had to drink every last drop, but missed one when they were interrupted).

Hercules grows up to be a misfit, challenged by his incredible strength and unable to fit in with other people. His adoptive parents finally tell him that he is adopted and they found a medal with his name on it when they found abandon on a road as a baby. Hercules then decides to travel to the temple of Zeus. Zeus comes down to Hercules and tells Hercules that he is his father and someone stole him from his parents (Hera and Zeus). Zeus tells him that he must prove himself a true hero before he can join the other gods on Mount Olympus. Along with his flying horse Pegasus, Hercules goes to Philoctetes, an unhappy satyr who has failed to train a true hero yet; he decides to take on Hercules as his final attempt.

After training with Phil, the three of them attempt to save the beautiful Megara, a damsel in distress, from a centaur named Nessus. A smitten Hercules barely succeeds and Meg returns to the forest, where she is revealed to have sold her soul to Hades in order to save her lover’s life; her lover abandoned her and now Meg must do favors for Hades in order to avoid an eternity in the underworld. When Hades learns that Hercules is alive, he is enraged and plots to murder him again.

When Hercules tries to prove himself a hero at Thebes, Hades sends the Hydra to kill him. Hercules tries to kill the Hydra by slicing off its heads, but more heads grow in their place. After a lengthy battle, he prevails by using his strength to cause a landslide. He soon becomes a national, multi-million-dollar celebrity as a result. Realizing that his plans are jeopardized, Hades sends Meg out to discover Hercules’ weakness, promising her freedom in return. Hercules is disappointed to learn from his father Zeus that he has yet to become a true hero, and then spends the time and day with Meg, who finds herself falling deeply romantically in love again. When Hades intervenes, she turns against him, as she accepts her recently surfaced deep and strong romantic feelings and love for Hercules, much to Hades’ dismay.

Phil learns of Meg’s involvement with Hades and, thinking she is willingly desires to work for him, tries to warn Hercules, who ignores Phil and knocks him to the ground in an outrage. Discouraged, Phil leaves for home. Unfortunately, through this, Hades realizes that Meg is ‘Hercules’ weakness. Hades arrives, interrupting Hercules’ training, talks a lot then snaps his fingers, making Meg appear. Before she can finish her sentence, Hades snaps his fingers and she disappears, tied up and gagged by smoke, then reappears with another snap of Hades fingers. He uses Meg to try to get Hercules to give up his God-like superhuman strength for twenty-four hours, though Hercules adds the condition that Meg doesn’t get hurt in any way. Meg shakes her head frantically, trying to convince Hercules not to make the deal, but he does not listen. When Hades sets Meg free, Hades spitefully reveals that she was working for him all along. Deeply heartbroken and crushed, the now-weakened Hercules loses the will to fight the Cyclops that Hades unleashes upon him. Meg finds and unties Pegasus and battles her fear of heights to find Phil, persuading him to come back and help Hercules regain his confidence. He finishes off the cyclops but just as a pillar is about to crush Hercules. Meg pushes him out of the way saving him because “people always do crazy things when they’re in love”.

As a result, the deal is broken and Hercules’ god-like superhuman strength is returned. Hercules, along with Pegasus and Phil, saves Olympus from certain doom and Hades returns to the underworld. Meanwhile, Meg dies of her injuries, her thread of life having been cut by the Fates. Hercules arrives and demands for Meg to be revived, but Hades shows him that she is currently trapped in the River Styx, a river of souls where all the dead go. Hades allows Hercules to trade his own spirit for Meg’s, hoping to return Meg’s body to the surface of the river before he is killed. Hercules jumps in and as his lifeline is about to be cut by the Fates, his amazing courage and willingness to ultimately sacrifice his life for others prove him a true hero, restoring all of his godly powers and rendering him immortal. As he successfully returns Meg to the surface, Hades tries to talk his way out of the situation. Hercules punches him, knocking him into the River Styx. The other souls grab Hades and pull him down into the stream. Hercules revives Meg and they both head to Olympus, but when Meg’s entrance is denied, Hercules chooses to become mortal and stay on Earth with her. Hercules is acclaimed a hero on both Earth and Olympus alike, Zeus creates a constellation in his image, and Phil is remembered for being the one to train him.

Cast:

  • Tate Donovan as Hercules
  • Danny DeVito as Philoctetes (Phil)
  • James Woods as Hades
  • Susan Egan as Megara (Meg)
  • Rip Torn as Zeus
  • Samantha Eggar as Hera
  • Bobcath Goldthwait as Pain
  • Matt Frewer as Panic
  • Josh Keaton as Young Hercules
  • Roger Bart as Young Hercules (during singing)
  • Jim Cummings as Nessus
  • Paul Shaffer as Hermes
  • Hal Holbrook as Amphtryon
  • Barbara Barrie as Alcmene
  • Amanda Plummer as Clotho
  • Carole Shelley as Lachesis
  • Paddi Edwards as Atropos
  • Keith David as Apollo
  • Lillias White as Calliope, Muse of Epics
  • Cheryl Freeman as Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy
  • Roz Ryan as Thalia, Muse of Comedy
  • Vaneese Thomas as Clio, Muse of History
  • LaChanze as Terpsichore, Muse of Dance
  • Wayne Knightas Demetrius, the Pottery Salesman
  • Patrick Pinney as the Cyclops
  • Charlton Heston as the Narrator

My Rating: 4-star-review3 4 stars

Lessons I Learned: You need to work hard for your dreams. You can’t just wait for your dreams to come true. You’ll be wasting the time you can use in fulfilling that dream. For your dream, you’re willing to do almost anything just to make it come true. 

When you are prepared, find people that’ll help you and ‘chances’. Opportunities that’ll surely help in fufilling that dream of yours. Give chances to others. Make them live their dream. Give them a ‘chance’. But when you get that chance, don’t get boastful and take pride over. Be humble whatever happens. 

Don’t trick or fool others. Just tell them the truth so they’ll know right away. If it has a punishment, you have to accept it. YOU were the one who tricked others, right?

Make up for your sins. But not ‘that’ severe and grave. Make it simple. Even simple things make people forgive. But sometimes, not a simple sorry could help you be forgiven.

Believe in yourself. Believe that you can achieve what you want to achieve. Always have hope in everything that you do. Always think positive. Always believe that you can do it. Follow your dreams. Don’t stop believing!

Where I watched: DVD

Other pics:

References:

Disney Wiki (Hercules) (for the cast, plot, poster, other pics 1-3)

Google (for the stars, movie release, movie duration and genre)

IMDb (for the IMDb rating and other pics 5-11)

Journeys in Classic Film (for other pic 12)

Other Links:

= Hercules on YouTube

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