In a time when the gods were cruel and plagued mankind there was a whinny teenage by the name of Hercules and a two bit con artist by the name of Iolaus and lets be honest, we love them! Welcome the movie that shows how the two became friends, how Hercules pissed off his half brother Ares and how the man became a legend.
We start off with Ares finding out that Hercules stole an urn from his temple, not good news for the demigod because Ares doesn't like people to upstage him. For the god of war he is really needed for attention. The first appearance of Iolaus is quickly followed by a quick cameo by the one and only Michael Hurst. The real OG Iolaus. How cool is that?
OK so right off the bat this young Hercules marks himself different from his older version. Where the grown Hercules doesn't care about his father or the other gods this young one does. He longs for his fathers attention. He wants his place among them, it the start of a journey of growth, of figuring out that other people can't define who you are or where your place in the world is. Only you can do that. Only you have that kind of power over yourself. It's really a story of discovery, of acceptance and who doesn't love those?
Herc's mother sends him to Cheiron's academy to train. She feels that it will help him find a purpose, a place in the world. No sooner does he arrive before he spots his future father-in-law Jason. Minutes later he insults Cheiron and call him the janitor while mocking a training exercises as being ludicrous, he believes that there is no way that would ever happen in real life. Spoiler, the movie ends with him fighting Ares in the same way. Can you say forshadowing?
Hercules and Ioaus are asigned as training partners and they can't stand each other. Aw, nothing says best friend better than hating each other. They can't keep from sabotaging each other until Iolaus has enough and tries to run off. Hercules tries to stop him but their fight is interrupted by the new cadet Yvenna. The next day during training everyone is distracted by her. She is distracting.
After getting whooped by Iolaus on the balancing stumps Hercules started practicing at night. Cheiron tells him to do it blind folded. This will come into play much later in the film. On a side note, nothing really to do with the movie, but in elementary school me and friends use to do this same training, not blind folded but still. The school cut down a couple of trees and we would have to get to the other side while one of our friends would try to knock us off first. It was always a lot of fun!
Hercules goes to take a bath and it turns out Yvenna had the same idea. The flirting is electric between the two. Too bad that bad news had to break it up. Jason's dad the king of Corinth is sick. Jason sets off and tells Iolaus and Hercules to set aside their dislike of one another and come with him. They agree. Boy do they not like each other, and to think growing up I always thought they were the greatest of friends. Origin stories are always a weird jarring change, but it makes it fun finding out how the status quo happens.
Hercules won't tell anyone who his father is. It's too bad because maybe it would help them figure out that his half brother and sister are behind what is happening to Jason's father. It is a small Greek world after all. Oh and can we just mention how beautiful and evil Discord is?
Anyways, as the gang heads towards the castle Jason starts to see his father's men hanging dead. Something is right and the worry is starting to set in.
When they make it to the kings room they find him sick on the bed, not able to wake up. Ares shows up pretending to be Jason's uncle. He comes up with a story about being an escaped POW who got lost at sea. Now he is home to help out his dear sweet brother. He has in writing that he takes over the thrown from his brother. Prince Jason is banished from the kingdom that should be his by birth. Ares is now king.
Not to nitpick, I do really love this movie, but why do Jason's men all turn on him. He is the prince, even if the uncle is now king wouldn't they still want to look for him? It just seems a little weird too me, but I think that some of them would at least stick up for him. Maybe it's just me.
Hercules talks Jason and Iolaus into going after the golden fleece. He finally tells them that his father is Zeus but they don't really believe him. Either way he talks them and a few others including Yvenna into going on the quest. Cheiron gives them his blessing and tells Hercules that he can't do this to try and win favor with his father. If that is his real reason than it will not end well for him. It's a message I've always believed in myself, if you do something good to get credit for it than it doesn't count.
Yvenna tells Hercules about how she ran and hid after her village was attacked. He tries to comfort her. The next morning they see women on an island calling for help. All the men except for Hercules rush to their aid. Can you siren? I've always loved mythology and even tho this universe is corny it plays all the right cords for me to fall in love over and over.
So the night gets a bit crazy and everyone has a little too much fun, Hercules and Yvenna start making out while Jason and the other guys go crazy and start fighting. Yvenna joins in the fun and tries to kill Hercules. What a party! The next morning two of their group is dead and Iolaus throws all the blame at Hercules feet. Tension is high among the group. The Argonauts have only just started to deal with the wrath of Ares and Discord.
Hercules screams to the heavens wanting his father to answer him. It's a feeling that I can really relate too. I grew up without a father, never really had one in my life and from time to time I wondered what it would be like to have one. It's not something I think about it a lot but once in a while it does cross my mind.
They finally find the Fleece but are attacked by a giant. A honest to god giant. How do you fight a giant? According to the movie by running a lot. Hercules needs to fight it, he has done it more times than I can count on Legendary journeys, but one punch to the face of the giant shows you Herc isn't the super strong hero yet. He's getting there but gots a long way to go. The rest of the Argonauts join in to help him. After all as a team you can do almost anything, except for finish a film at North Lake, because those people don't understand teamwork. Herc ends up getting beat up by the giants bad breath, how do people not love this? It's the greatest film of all time. Well maybe not greatest but it is so much fun. And really what more does a movie need to be? Sometimes a fun film is all you need to get you out of a funk or make you happy. This one pulls that off in spades. The team take out the giant but Yvenna is dying, but its ok because she didn't run this time. She made up for her mistake. If only there was some way to save her. Oh wait! the Golden Fleece. The whole point of the film! Alas it's they got it too late and the poor girl is dead. She died the hero that she failed to live her life as. It was a warriors death and one that she longed for.
Out of her death a few good things happened. Iolaus finally started to see Hercules for who he really is. The hatred between the two of the is at an end. But more importantly, Hercules stops caring about his father and gods. He finally learns that they don't matter, only doing good and helping the people who need your help matters.
Jason uses the Fleece to save his father only to have Ares snap his neck and stab Jason. Hercules attacks him and finds out that he is Ares, his half brother. He also learns that his father is giving him special protection and Ares is jealous of him. Nice plot twist right? Not nearly as nice as the two half brothers ending up on poles much like the ones that Hercules has been training on every night. The ones that he said would never happen in a real battle. Ironic right? Well wait for it. . . Herc gets blinded and has to battle him without his eyes. It is almost as if Cheiron knew what was going to happen. Lucky this time Herc has Iolaus to help him. It isn't long before Herc gets his sight back and ends the fight.
They get the fleece to Jason in time and save his life. They anoint Jason king and Hercules goes off to fight the good fight with Iolaus at his side. Uh wait, isn't there like 50 episodes of the TV show that takes place at the academy? Oh and what if they fight a three headed monster? That happens in the first movie! Ahh call back, or well call forward, whatever. It's an Easter egg ok.
I love this movie so much, not as much as the Legendary journeys but it is really good. If you haven't seen it please check it out!