Hercules: The Legendary Journeys -- Movies


Daily Variety
Hercules and the Amazon Women
by Adam Sandler

Filmed in New Zealand by Renaissance Pictures. <> It's hard to envision what the producers of this latest take on the mythical Hercules had in mind when they created this two-hour telefilm, as program fails to score on any level, especially with the casting of a beef-cakey heartthrob as its lead. [As a rule, critics can't get what they have.] Any viewers left by show's end probably will be scratching their heads trying to figure out how this uninteresting and unsatisfying trip back in time made it to the small screen.
When Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) is called upon to save a local village from attacking "beasts," he discovers that the malefactors are women who visit the hamlet for brief conjugal visits with the men. Hercules serves as a Dr. Ruth in chamois briefs, telling the men how they can recapture the flame with these Amazon femmes, so they can live happily ever after. Rather than the two species fighting to the death when the once-a-year mood hits, he insists they could live in harmony.
Sorbo, a competent but uncharismatic commercials actor, lacks the skills to make this either a farcical romp or a serious delve. His contemporary looks and manners - one almost expects his conversation to be punctuated with an occasional "Dude!" - undermine his credibility...
Telepic's failure is especially acute considering that it comes from producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, the pair behind the biting "Darkman" and its sequel; they have lengthy and substantive credits of creating interesting characters. The show is visually stunning, with plenty of raging waterfalls and lush tropical setting, with the actors mere set dressing. Scriptors give the actors dialogue more likely to be spoofed by comedy improv groups than taken seriously. Relationship advice proferred by the suntanned Hercules is ridiculous and would be more fitting coming from his friend Iolaus (Michael Hurst), program's sole diamond in the rough. Hurst's infectious personality and sidekick demeanor aids in keeping this sinking quasi-melodrama afloat.
While program is designed to be the first of five two-hour adventures, subsequent episodes will have to be more interesting than this to garner auds.


Gannett News Service
Hercules and Circle of Fire

by Mike Hughes

In non-network syndication, things range from earnest-but-stiff ("Deep Space Nine," "Babylon 5") to loopy ("Space Precinct"). Somewhere on the loopy side, you can put "Hercules and Circle of Fire." That's a two-hour movie that many stations will premiere this weekend. A goddess has stolen fire, it seems, plunging the world into cold. Things are so bitter that Herc (Kevin Sorbo) and friend (Tawny Kitaen) are tempted to cover their low-cut shirts. Mostly, they resist the temptation. We're not talking "Northern Exposure" here; the Hercules films love a fine torso, be it on a male or a female or a moving mountain. Sorbo retains his dignity, during the better "Hercules" films - including last week's rerun ["Hercules and the Lost Kingdom"] - and during this one.


Official graphics MCA TV, Universal

2002-2005 KSJAA

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