Monday, June 16, 2014

The Legend of Hercules Review

The Legend of Hercules Review

The year 2014 is going to be one of those years again, one of those years where the same idea happens to come to us twice. This year, we will get two Hercules movies. I recently watched “The Legend of Hercules” which is an apparent origin story of the classic Greek hero starring Kellan Lutz in the title character. Later this summer, we will see The Rock take on the title character in “Hercules: The Thracian Wars,” and I am wildly curious to see which film ends up better. Right now, it is safe to say that the edge already goes to “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” and that film has not even come out yet, ouch.

Look, I try to not bring my biases to the theater. I think overall I do a pretty good job, but I love mythology. The worlds of mythology were my first superheroes, before superheroes we had the gods, the demi-gods and their various adventures. They were great fables that took us on high, swash-buckling adventure, yet there was a fable in the center of each story, and we always came out with something on our minds afterward. This is why it saddens me to learn that “The Legend of Hercules” is absolutely nothing like that. There is no sense of adventure, there is no deep fable, and there is no substance worth merit. “The Legend of Hercules” is an empty action movie, completely hollow from start to finish. The actors give it their all, but there is absolutely nothing salvage from this story, as it is a complete wallow. Not only that but the special effects work is terrible at best, and the action scenes are pretty uninteresting, and if you can’t stage great action scenes at this point, you might as well not even attempt a film like this.

The film begins with the invasion of Argos by King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) of Tires circa 1200 B.C. The invasion goes in the king’s favor and his power ever so grows. Roxanne McKee plays Queen Alcemene, the wife of King Amphitryon, and she disgusted by her husband’s constant need to conquer. She prays to Hera for guidance, and Hera comes down and allows Zeus to bang her so that her son can bring glory back to the kingdom. King Amphityon already hates the boy and he vows that he will never be the equal of their older son. Sadly, the rest of the film is a mere “Gladiator” rip-off with no grace or glory. Hercules (Kellan Lutz) falls in love with someone he shouldn’t, his father sends him on a daring mission which he rigs so that Hercules gets captured and sold into slavery, then Hercules fights back to the top. It’s a silly idea from start to finish and ruins a rather awesome character.

The film fails in the acting department as well. Kellan Lutz does what he can, and over nearly everyone else in the film, he really stands out. I think if Lutz stared in a Hercules movie worth making, he could have done wonders. I think he’s a talented guy with a lot of charisma, but he continually makes poor choices with his career. I am still wildly curious to see what he does with Stallone in the upcoming “Expendables III,” but for right now, he needs to fire his agent. Scott Adkins is all sorts of wrong as King Amphitryon and gives one of his absolute worst performances to date.  In fact the rest of the acting is low-budget, the only other actor who at least tries to give this film a pulse is Liam McIntyre. McIntyre plays Sotiris, another Greek who gets wronged by his King, and gets sold into slavery with Hercules. These scenes just made me miss McIntyre as Spartacus and wished that that show was still airing. McIntyre is a great guy, and he deserves to become a big name.

I can’t even take this film seriously when the CGI is worthless. The film also opens with the classic scene of Hercules defeating the Nemeean lion, this is one of THE Hercules stories and they blow through it like its nothing. It also doesn’t help that it is the absolute worst digitized lion I have ever seen. Look, I suppose that we all can’t afford time at the Skywalker Ranch, but there have been countless films made with digitized animals, and they all look leagues better than this lion did. Heck, when Adam Sandler does better than you, that is a real mistake.

I know there are probably many girls who like to look at Kellan Lutz, and if you’re one of these girls, this will be your only reason to watch the movie. You will find everything else in the film laughably bad. It is going to be an experience you will never want again, and you will forget about hours later.

FINAL GRADE: F

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