Historian gives high marks to the new movie about Hercules

Historians in the News
tags: Movie, Hercules, review

Interview with Paul Anthony Cartledge.  Cartledge is Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University.

Q: Did you enjoy the film?

A: I enjoyed it enormously, though I’m possibly not absolutely the best person to review it, being a professional historian of the real fourth-century BC ancient Greece. But I was a bit-part adviser to the original 300, and I have co-edited a quite scholarly book on Oliver Stone’s Alexander movie, so I do have some critical form!

Thanks to its surprisingly witty script, co-written by the experienced Greek-American Evan Spiliotopoulos and delivered by an excellent multinational cast, the latest, revisionist Hercules is a gas almost from start to finish (for most of the time intentionally, and even knowingly so).

The audience I saw it with in Cambridge’s Cineworld joined in with a will, and at the right places too. The 3D effects were, thank the Olympian god(desse)s, kept well under control – unlike the numbingly repetitive barrage of weaponry and murderous mayhem we were subjected to recently in 300: Rise of an Empire.

The 12A classification, though, had me a bit baffled – ‘moderate sex’ was accurate enough, but ‘moderate violence’? Clearly, stylised CGI violence doesn’t count as ‘real’ violence, and can be as immoderate as the director (Brett Ratner) wants and the classifiers will permit... 

Read entire article at BBC History Magazine

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