The Legend of Hercules

The Legend of Hercules

Director: Renny Harlin

Writers: Sean Hood, Daniel Giat, Renny Harlin, Giulio Steve

Cast: Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Liam Garrigan, Liam McIntyre, Rade Serbedzija, Johnathon Schaech, Luke Newberry, Kenneth Cranham, Mariah Gale, Sarai Givaty, Dimiter Doichinov, Nikolai Sotirov, Radoslav Parvanov

Synopsis: The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality

STEVENNIX2001'S RATING:

1/ 10

Pros:

-Unique concept for a Hercules story line

- Costumes and weapons look authentic

Cons:

-Terrible Acting

-Slow motion action scenes are a bit obsessive

-Poorly written story

-Lousy direction

-Ending makes little to no sense

-Action choreography looks obliviously fake

-One dimensional characters with hardly any depth

-Badly written forced love story

-Horrible dialogue

-Poor characterization

Arguably top contender for one of the worst films of 2014...oh boy...

There's been a lot of films about the iconic hero known as Hercules over the years. Some of them have been good, while others have flat out sucked. Sadly, this is one of the duds. When I first heard about this film, I was hoping to be the voice of reason about it; similar to how I tried to be the voice of reason when it came to defending "Man of Steel.". After all, I grew up watching a lot of cult fantasy films, in ilk of such classics like "Jason and the Argonauts" and etc. Sadly though, I can't justify anything about this movie.

On the plus side of things, the costumes look very authentic. Granted, I wouldn't call myself a known authority on all things regarding Roman mythological history, but from what I could tell, the costume designs seemed very realistic.

Plus, I did like the concept that the movie presents; almost giving us sort of a "Jason and the Argonauts" type feel to it. Sadly, the film falls apart on execution. The movie is essentially an origin story of Hercules. Explaining how he became known to be hero. How the mighty Zeus would end up impregnating a woman to give birth to him. And, how his Earth father would betray him, and leave for dead; only to end up seeking justice at the end when he finally embraces who he is.

This film is nothing if not insanely predictable, as "The Legend of Hercules" leaves no cliches untouched. Normally, I can forgive some of these cliches if the characters are at least written well, but that isn't the case either. Most of the characters in this movies aren't fleshed out at all, as many of them are flanderized to the point of being stereotyped.

Not to mention, it doesn't help that the film features poorly written dialogue, and all the actors sound like they're reading their lines directly from a script rather than becoming the characters themselves. Not only are all these flaws horrendously distracting, but it takes you out of what could've been a vastly underrated fantasy action piece.

To make matters worse, the action choreography isn't that great either. Unless you've never seen a movie in your life, then you should be able to tell that all the action scenes are obliviously fake right from the get go. Hell, I've seen wrestling fights that were a lot more realistic than this...

Add in the fact that this film loves to use slow motion all the time during it's action scenes, and you can tell how utterly lame this movie tends to be. For example, you might see Hercules go at a guy in regular motion like he's about to hit him with his fists, and then during the middle of that same action sequence, you'll see the action get played out in slow motion for a few seconds; until his fists finally connects with the guys face. And from there, you'll see said guy fall on ground in regular motion. Now, try to imagine seeing those type of action scenes throughout a hundred minute film, and you should have a general idea how utterly annoying these scenes tend to be.

As far as the love story goes, it's a joke if anything. If you thought the overly simplistic story telling of Disney's classic "love at first sight" nonsense was bad, then that's nothing compared to how bad "The Legend of Hercules" tends to roll with it's love story. Not only is there little to no chemistry with the characters, but we're hardly given any reason why Hercules and his damn girlfriend love each other; outside of plot convenience.

And finally, we have the biggest problem with this movie...the acting... Oh boy, where do I even begin with this? For starters, Kellan Lutz is arguably the male equivalent to Megan Fox, and that's probably the nicest way I can put it when it comes to his acting. Granted, I'm sure a lot of girls, along with some gay guys (not that there's anything wrong with that), will enjoy watching Lutz kick a** while taking names, as he does this being half naked throughout most of the feature. However, I wouldn't expect any kind of great acting from him.

Of course, that's nothing compared to Scott Adkins, who plays Hercules' step father, the evil King Amphitryon. And like a pro wrestler would, the guy overacts his part to the point that he's screaming all his lines like he's trying to rile up a crowd for an epic show down; similar to what you might see in a wrestle mania event. As for the rest of the acting, it's fairly forgettable, as all the actors hardly put any emotions into their parts, so it's hard to really get invested into this.

Overall, I think "The Legend of Hercules" had a very unique concept to work with, but it falls tragically short on execution. Definitely worth missing at a rating of one out of ten. Don't bother wasting your time on this garbage....

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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