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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Going Out in Style
by Betty Jo Tucker

In the action-packed final season of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, our mythical hero battles such intriguing characters as a group of cursed Amazons, some very hungry vampires, a trio of teenage wannabe witches, and conniving traitors trying to overthrow Queen Nefertiti in Egypt. Naturally, Hercules’ loyal buddy Iolaus comes along for support -- and, happily, provides his special brand of humor.

Iolaus (Michael Hurst) is not too shabby in the fighting department himself. In one opening sequence, he carries on a serious conversation with Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) while relentlessly pounding a group of evil assailants. “Fighting never solved anything,” he says with a straight face at the end of this vigorous encounter. It’s a funny sequence -- just the type of humor I’ve come to expect from these wonderful Hercules adventures.

But the most amusing episode of this final season features Bruce Campbell as Autolycus, the thief with a heart of gold, in “Hercules, Tramps & Thieves.” Campbell hams it up delightfully here during encounters with his character’s ex-wife, played flamboyantly by glamorous Traci Lords.

Sorbo also contributes to the fun with his tongue-in-cheek delivery of such lines as “I see you’ve found your true calling” to Autolycus after this self-proclaimed King of Thieves declares he’s thinking about opening a bank. However, Sorbo’s greatest appeal as Hercules is still the down-to-earth attitude he brings to this half-god, half-human hero who’s determined to fight against evil. And Sorbo’s Hercules has never been more appealing than in the last episode, “Full Circle,” as he talks with Iolaus about retirement, then saunters down the road with him in their usual way.

As in all the previous Hercules seasons, production values here are first-rate: creatures, costumes, sets and special effects rival such big screen efforts as Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies.

The last eight episodes of this popular television series and numerous bonus items relating to the show’s final season are presented in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Season Six, a beautifully packaged Collector’s Edition five-disc DVD set.  

Bonus materials include: audio commentary with Sorbo, Hurst plus other cast and crew members; a featurette titled Bringing Monsters to Life at K.N.B. – Part 3; a behind-the-scenes look at the last-filmed episode (which, surprisingly, isn’t “Full Circle”); the wrap party presentations as emceed by Hurst ; a photo gallery; the Hercules original series promo; a CD-Rom containing Hercules chronicles, bios of actors, directors & writers, series trivia and mythology.       

If the wrap party feature seems a bit boring at first, please don't give up or you’ll miss Sorbo, Hurst and one of the producers singing a very funny parody of “My Way.” Way to go out, Herc and company!

(Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment and Davis-Anderson Merchandising; not rated by MPAA. For more information, go to the official Hercules site.)

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