Hercules ( Hercules ) is anAmericanpeplum coproduced and directed byBrett Ratnerreleased in2014. The film is freely inspired by the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars bySteve MooreandAdmira Wijaya, which itself takes place in a world freely inspired byGreek mythologyandancient Greeceand features the Greek heroHéraclès(commonly called by its Latin nameHercules).
The film begins while Iolaos , nephew of Hercules , is held prisoner by a band of Thracian robbers. To impress them, he reminds them of the mythical exploits of Hercules, his companion in arms, during his twelve labors : the Lerne Hydra , the Erymanthus Boar , the Nemean Lionetc. But he comes up against the unbelief of the bandits. Fortunately, Hercules arrives in time to save him, accompanied by several comrades in arms, and they kill or put to flight the bandits, however, many more numerous. It turns out that Hercules and his companions are mercenaries who have been paid to rid the area of bandits infesting him. While counting their premiums in an inn, Hercules and his companions receive the visit of Ergenia, the daughter of Cotys , king of one of the Thracian kingdoms . Ergenia hires them on behalf of his father, who needs to repel King Rhos , a bloodthirsty sorcerer-king known to summon centaurson the battlefield. Hercules will receive his gold weight for this mission’s prize.
Hercules and his band go to the town of King Cotys, dominated by an enormous statue of Hera . They meet quickly Sitacles, General of Cotys who welcomes them coldly, and Arios, the youngest son of Ergenia, who admires Hercules. Hercules presents his companions to King Cotys: Autolycos , gifted with throwing blades; Tydee , a thirsty brute; Atalanta , formidable archer, presented as an Amazon; Amphiaraos the diviner, who fights at bat and knows in advance the moment of his own death; and Iolaos, his young nephew, better speaker than fighter. The five warriors are charged by Cotys to form his army, composed of peasants and young inexperienced people: it will take time to make soldiers. But time is running out, because a bloody messenger comes to teach Cotys that the army of Rhésos is approaching and threatening the region where the Besse tribe lives.. Despite the advice of Hercules, Cotys goes to war very quickly. Hercules and his gang have just enough time to teach the army a defensive formation using shields. Arrived in sight of the village of Besses, the army falls on what it takes for a battlefield strewn with corpses, but it is about a trap: the Besses, which are not dead, throw themselves on the army and the battle commits itself. After a difficult fight, the army led by Hercules wins the victory at the cost of heavy losses. Cotys thinks the Besses have been manipulated by the magic of Rhos. In the evening, at the camp, Hercules is cared for by Ergenia. He is tormented by nightmarish visions, memories of his wife Megara and his children, all dead, and visions of Cerbere, the three-headed dog of the underworld. Ergenia is not long in questioning the companions of Hercules on the past of the hero. Hercules has long been in the service of Eurystheus, king of Thebes. During a stay in Athens, Hercules was found inanimate near the slaughtered corpses of his wife and children. Some think he killed them, others that Hera drove him crazy, but no one knows what really happened. Back in town, Hercules and his men finally have the time to properly equip and train the army of Cotys. Some time later, Cotys’ army confronted the army of Rhos on an open space. Rhos has no centaurs but only riders. The battle, an opportunity for new exploits of the heroes, ends with a new victory for Cotys.
Rhosos is brought back to the palace as a prisoner and humiliated. But something is wrong. Rhesos despises Hercules for having allied himself with Cotys, whom he describes as a tyrant, while Ergenia visibly pities the vanquished. When questioned, she reveals that Cotys is indeed a tyrant whose war was not defensive but offensive. Ergenia has no choice but to bow to her father’s actions to protect the life of Arios, but she hopes to be able to place her son on the throne at the death of the old king. Meanwhile, Cotys is crowned king of Thrace and does not hide his ambition to build an empire leading the whole of Greece. The next day, Cotys proposes to Hercules to take the command of his army, but the hero refuses. Hercules and his companions receive their payment and are invited to leave Thrace. But Hercules decides to stay. Surprised, his companions decide to stay in their turn, yielding their salary to Autolycos who, for his part, prefers to leave. Hercules and his band return to the palace but are immediately captured and imprisoned side by side with Ergenia and Arios: the conversation between Hercules and Ergenia was surprised by Sitacles who denounced them. Hercules has the unpleasant surprise to discoverEurystheuswho has allied with Cotys and wants to take the opportunity to get rid of him. Hercules understands that the murderer of his wife and children is none other than Eurystheus, who drugged him and had his family slaughtered by three wolves he brought in to torture him later. As Erginia is about to be beheaded, Hercules finds the superhuman strength needed to break his chains and saves her, then he confronts and wards the three wolves of Eurystheus and frees his companions. The battle begins in the palace but Cotys has the vast army that the heroes have trained themselves. Cotys always holds Arios hostage and Hercules sum surrender. Autolycos, who has changed his mind, saves the hero’s bet and they can free Arios. Pressed by the army of Cotys, they take refuge on the citadel, at the foot of the statue of Hera. After throwing their embers and the fiery oil of several braziers at their assailants, they are about to be caught when Hercules, in a last tour de force, turns the statue of Hera on the army. Cotys dies crushed by the statue, and those of his soldiers who are still alive are siding with Hercules after this extraordinary feat.
- Original title: Hercules
- French title: Hercule
- Quebec title: Hercules
- Director: Brett Ratner
- Scenario: Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos, based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars of Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya .
- Artistic direction: Jean-Vincent Puzos
- Sets: Jason Knox-Johnston
- Costumes: Jany Temime
- Photography: Dante Spinotti
- Sound: Tim Chau
- Editing: Mark Helfrich
- Music: Fernando Velázquez
- Production: Sarah Aubrey , Beau Flynn , Barry Levine and Brett Ratner
- Production Company (s): Film 44 , Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , Paramount Pictures , Radical Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment
- Distribution Company (s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Paramount Pictures
- Budget: $ 100,000,000
- Country of origin: United States
- Original language: English
- Format: Color – 2.35: 1 – Dolby Digital sound
- Genre: Peplum
- Duration: 98 minutes
- Release dates:
- United States :
- France :
- Dwayne Johnson (VF: David Kruger , VQ: Benedict Rousseau ) : Hercules
- Ian McShane (VF: Patrick Floersheim ) : Amphiaraos of Argos
- John Hurt (VF: Jean-Pierre Leroux ) : King Cotys
- Rufus Sewell (VF: Boris Rehlinger ) : Autolycos of Sparta
- Aksel Hennie : Tide of Thebes
- Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (VF: Hélène Bizot ) : Atalanta of Scythia
- Reece Ritchie : Iolaos of Athens
- Joseph Fiennes (VF: Patrick Osmond) : King Eurystheus
- Tobias Santelmann (VF: Bruno Choel ) : Rhesos , the king of Thrace
- Peter Mullan (VF: Patrick Raynal ) : General Sitaclès
- Rebecca Ferguson (VF: Laura White ) : Ergénia
- Isaac Andrews : Arius
- Joe Anderson : Phineus
- Irina Shayk : Megara
- Stephen Peacocke : Stephanos
- Barbara Palvin : Antimache
- Sources and legend : French version (VF) on RS Dubbing 1 , AlloDoublage 2 and according to the box of the French dubbing on the DVD zone 2 n 1 . .
The film is loosely based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars ( Hercules: The Thracian Wars ) written by Steve Moore and drawn by Admira Wijaya , published in the US by Radical Studios from 2008 3 . The working title of the film is Hercules: The Thracian Wars ; the definitive English title is Hercules 4 .
The film’s production budget is around 100 million US dollars 5 .
Controversy over comic adaptation
In an interview published on the Bleeding Cool website on July 17, 2014, comic book author Alan Moore called comic readers to boycott the movie. Alan Moore explains that his namesake and co-worker Steve Moore , author of comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars whose film is adapted, was deceived at the time of the establishment of the publishing contract of his work at Radical Comics, so that he could not touch the slightest right on the film adaptation. Steve Moore wanted his name not to be associated with the film or his promotion, for this reason and also because he was very dissatisfied with the alterations made to his story in the script (his comicis based on a rich historical and mythological documentation of which the scenario of the film does not take account, and Moore evokes in particular in its history Hylas , lover of Héraclès , which disappeared in the scenario of the film). However, Moore died sometime later, and from that moment the promotion of the film began to use his name to take advantage of the renewed interest in the author on the occasion of his death. Alan Moore, disgusted by the treatment of his colleague, therefore called to boycott the film at its output 6 .
|Country or region||Box Office||Box office shutdown date||Number of weeks|
|United States 7||$ 72,688,614||12|
|France 8||795,315 entries||7|
|Global 7||$ 244,819,862||–||–|
Upon its release in the United States on 27 July 2014, Hercules collects $ 29.8 million during its opening weekend, far behind the science fiction movie French Lucy of Luc Besson released simultaneously 9 . This start, a little lower than the remake of Shock of the Titans in 2010 (33.5 million) or the Immortals in 2012 (32, 2 million) and much lower than that of King Scorpion where Dwayne Johnson starred in 2002 (36 million), is considered “lukewarm” ( lukewarm ) by the Box Office Mojo site, which however considers that “it could have been much worse”and that Dwayne Johnson has mobilized his fans 9 . In one week, the film accumulates 44.8 million, and suffers much the weekend following the exit of the Guardians of the Galaxy of James Gunn , superhero film adapted from a comic Marvel 10 . After a little more than a month of exploitation, the film accumulates a little more than 170 million dollars of receipts, of which approximately 70 million in the United States and approximately 91 million in the rest of the world 11 .
When it was released in France on August 27, 2014, Hercule made the best start in Paris (where it is exploited on 17 screens) with about 1,580 admissions, in front of the fantastic Canadian-Spanish thriller Enemy by Denis Villeneuve (a little over 1,000 entries on 20 copies) and the French drama Party Girl (approximately 985 entries on 22 copies) 12 . During its first week of operation in France, the film gathers a little more than 447 000 entries; it accumulates a little more than 160 000 additional entries in the second week 13 .
In the United States
Anglo-American criticism is quite favorable to the film. At the end of August 2014, one month after its release in the United States, Hercules receives an average score of 61/100 on the Rotten Tomatoes website (based on 102 press reviews) and is considered an entertainment without much pretension but of sometimes surprising quality compared to what the critics had been feared 14 .
In France, at the release of the film on August 27, 2014, the reception of press critics is tepid. In late August, the site Allociné gives the film a score of 2.8 out of 5 based on 15 critics in the press or on specialized websites 15 .
The most favorable critics appreciate the combination of a successful visual universe and an unpretentious but effective scenario. In Le Journal du dimanche 16 , Stéphanie Belpêche sees in the film “an unpretentious B series”which fulfills its mission of entertainment through its humor and “deals in the second degree with themes such as popular belief and the travesty of reality” . In Télérama , Frédéric Strauss regrets a bit the transformation of the myth of Hercules into a group of mercenary adventures reminiscent of a group of superheroes, but judge that “the charm operates” thanks to sets reminiscent of “adventures to Ancient “, to the innocence of the scenario where a big-hearted Hercules puts himself without suspicion in the service of a king whom he thinks good, and to the good performance of Dwayne Johnson in the lead role; Overall however it seems almost too casual 17 .
More skeptical critics, on the other hand, regret a disappointing scenario and are not convinced of the talents of the director and the main actor. In La Voix du Nord 15 , Philippe Lagouche judges Dwayne Johnson “very limited” in Hercules and reproaches director Brett Ratner for having “pounded” this adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel designed by Admira Wijaya. In Le Monde 15 , Mathieu Macheret recognizes Brett Ratner’s “technical skill” in combat scenes, but sees in the result “an outrageously formatted blockbuster” .
Notes and references
- ↑ French dubbing Carton on DVD Zone 2 located after the end credits of the film.
- ↑ “French dubbing sheet of the film” [ archive ] on RS Dubbing , accessed August 8, 2014, m-dd on November 2, 2014.
- ↑ “French dubbing sheet of the film” [ archive ] on AlloDoublage , accessed September 2, 2014.
- ↑ ” Brett Ratner’s Hercules to Hit Theaters in August 2014 ” [ archive ] , article by Pamela McClintock on Hollywood Reporter January 16, 2013. Page consulted on April 26, 2014.
- ↑ ” Release Info ” page of the film on the Internet Movie Database [ archive ] . Page accessed on April 26, 2014.
- ↑ Sheet of film on Box Office website Mojo [ archive ] . Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Alan Moore Calls For Boycott Of ‘Wretched Film Hercules On Behalf Of Friend Steve Moore [ archive ] , Article Hannah Means Shannon on Bleeding Cool July 17, 2014. Accessed July 17, 2014.
- ↑ a and b (in) ” Hercules (2014) ” [ archive ] , on Box Office Mojo (accessed August 12, 2017 )
- ↑ ” Hercules ” [ archive ] , on Jp’s Box Office (accessed August 12, 2017 )
- ↑ a and b “Weekend Report: ‘Lucy’ Wins Brain Vs. Brawn Battle ” [ archive ] , article by Ray Subers on Box Office Mojo on July 27, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ “Friday Report: ‘Guardians’ Stuns with $ 37.8 Million Opening Day” [ archive ] , article by Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo August 2, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Box office figures for Hercules on Box Office Mojo [ archive ] . Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Movies: Hercules wins a first battle! [ archive ] , article by Clément Cuyer on Allociné on August 27, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Box office film on Allociné [ archive ] . Page accessed September 6, 2014.
- ↑ sheet of the movie on Rotten Tomatoes [ archive ] . Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ a , b and c Press reviews of the film on Allociné [ archive ] . Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Great Scott! [ archive ] , article by Stéphanie Belpêche on Le Journal du dimanche, August 24, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- ↑ Review of the film [ archive ] by Frédéric Strauss on Télérama on August 27, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2014.