The Adventures of Hercules II, also known as Hercules II, is the sequel to the 1983 film Hercules. It was released in 1985 and starred Lou Ferrigno, who appears again as the titular character of Hercules. It has now been given a Blu-ray release by 101 films under its Cult Movie Collection and after the commercial and critical failure of the first film; this second attempt could have been a new start to the franchise. Alas, the filmmakers instead made the exact same mistakes as the first.
The plot focuses on Zeus’ Seven Mighty Thunderbolts, which kept peace and harmony. However, these have now been stolen by evil gods. Zeus is left with no choice but to send Hercules back to earth to aid the humans and as the moon is launched into a direct course with earth, Hercules must retrieve the thunderbolts from within evil monsters. And so the story is set, as Hercules must go and collect each thunderbolt.
There are many problems here. Firstly, the story is just a case of Hercules battling monsters to receive thunderbolts. As the movie follows Hercules, as he collects all the thunderbolts, things can start to get repetitive. There is no development in any of the characters. Instead it’s a mixture of badly choreographed fight scenes mixed with some awkward dialogue. If you have seen the first one in the series, you will be aware of the awkward performance that Lou Ferrigno gives as Hercules. This is repeated in this sequel, with little emotion being shown. It also contradicts the first flick in a few ways, which disturbs the continuity of the series.
All high fantasy features need to be full of intriguing characters, which are developed throughout. Unfortunately, this does not happen. The plot is marginally better than the first, however, there are just no surprises and it just seems the characters are too bland. We did enjoy watching it for the nostalgia, but it adds little to the fantasy genre. One redeeming factor that The Adventures of Hercules does have is the special effects, which for the time were actually quite good.
This Blu-ray release comes with just the standard version, with no real special features or directors cut. Instead you get the original trailer, which is still a nice addition, however this makes the investment slightly less attractive. Nevertheless, despite all the aforementioned faults, collectors of cult movies may be able to find a place in their collection for The Adventures of Hercules. Maybe.
THE ADVENTURES OF HERCULES II / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: LUIGI COZZI / STARRING: LOU FERRIGNO, MILLY CARLUCCI, SONIA VIVIANI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW