Let me start off by saying I am a huge fantasy fan. I can usually enjoy any swords and sorcery type film and find something good about it. Now let me say Wow this movie was bad. I mean I thought this kind of clumsy, lowest common denominator filmmaking died in the 80's. It is bad when I asked the organizer to give me a refund on a free prescreening.
Where to begin? I don't expect much in this type of movie in terms of plot or characterization. In action "porn" like this, the plot is usually just barely coherent enough to move from one action sequence to the next and the characters are as black and white as a chessboard. This movie somehow delivers LESS than that.
It is staggering to me that with a mythology as rich and engaging to draw from, they choose a tired rehashing of Gladiator as the main focus of the film. No doubt holding the more interesting material back for future sequels. The laughable love story is unengaging, poorly scripted and given far too much screen time.
What really disappoints is the action sequences. Hercules is supposed to be a demigod that achieves the impossible; the movie portrays none of this. It wastes a good deal of time with a clumsy mix of fighting scenes in which Hercules is repeatedly captured and/or defeated. WTF? It is only towards the end that an attempt is made to show Hercules as he should be seen, but I had tuned out long before then.
Oddly enough, the blood and gore in this film is kept to a minimum, probably to keep it at PG-13 in hopes of duping the largest possible audience to drop money on it. It would have really benefited from a Conan-esque level of violence to give the movie more weight and better directed action sequences. The dramatic pause in the middle of the action (made famous in the movie 300) is in every single action sequence.
I really don't know what I recommend from this film. Everything in the movie has been done better in other films. I hope this film tanks but I doubt it. It will make a profit and encourage more of the same I'm sure.