Picks and Pans Review: Hercules

updated 05/23/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/23/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Mon., May 16, 8 p.m. ET)

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Myths and legends usually aren't my thing. As I watched Hercules, I kept hoping the hero (buff British actor Paul Telfer) would prove he was the son of Zeus by getting a DNA test from Maury Povich. But the film was more enjoyable than expected, maybe because there's less of it than NBC originally planned.

Cut from a four-hour miniseries to a three-hour movie, the epic maintains momentum while the strongman takes on a series of challenges to atone for inadvertently killing his three sons. The visual effects are impressive when Herc fights the Hydra and the winged lion, and Elizabeth Perkins plays his scheming mother with conviction. Unfortunately, there's enough adult content to make the film unsuitable for younger kids.

FANTASY

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