Film Review – The Legend of Hercules
The Legend of Hercules
The Legend of Hercules is Renny Harlin’s (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) take on the mythical legend of the mortal sired by the god Zeus. Announced last spring that Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga) would be taking over the lead role seemed like a perfect match. A competing Hercules project by Brett Ratner with Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) attached to the role will bow in this summer. The Legend of Hercules was produced rather fast and with not a lot of promotion fanfare. Seeing as the press screening was the day before the film came out does not usually bode well for the film.
The film starts in 1200 B.C. in Argos with King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) defeating the King of Argos. On the celebration night, Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) is told that she will be impregnated with Zeus’ son in a bid to stop the tyranny of her husband. She gives birth to a son named Alcides (Kellan Lutz), who is only know by Hercules later in life as that is the name Hera and Zeus gave him. Flash forward twenty years, Hercules loves the Princess of Crete, Hebe (Gaia Weiss), much to chagrin of his older brother, Iphicles (Liam Garrigan). Because Hebe is promised to Iphicles and Hercules seems to not want to relent, he is sent to his death with a small army. He survives and revenge is on his mind and to get back to Hebe.
The action and slow motion fight scenes will probably be compared to 300. Some of the slow motion in the fight scenes is not necessary, but sometimes it adds a cool effect. This is not so much a bloody film, but it has enough fight scenes with shields, swords, bludgers, and spears to just about appease any man that sees it. The most impressive scenes are those that Hercules calls upon his father for help, unleashing god-like strength on his enemies. Along with the 3D, as a woman even I thought it was rather kick ass.
Where it falls short is in the acting. I could not help but laugh or cringe a little when Kellan Lutz spoke sometimes. My preconceived notion of who he is in other roles did not help. Lutz can sometimes be too sweet to fill the shoes of such a character. By the end of the film, he seemed to be more of the Hercules character than in the beginning. He is less of a puppy dog, but falls back into it when Hebe is in the room. He certainly has the body for Hercules, and that may draw the female viewers (especially fans from Twilight) in droves. The other actors do fairly well, especially Scott Adkins as the tyrannical King who has the stance and power to command a room and make the audience detest him. The most surprising appearance is Johnathon Scheach as Tarack, sporting some corn rows.
The end to The Legend of Hercules is pretty weak, almost a non-ending, and not something Hercules was destined to have. However, color me impressed that The Legend of Hercules is not a complete and utter disaster. It is actually quite entertaining. This is not a cinematic masterpiece or an epic, but it accomplishes probably what Renny Harlin wanted. It has some kick-ass fight scenes, great real and CGI settings, good costumes, really good use of 3D, and with a runtime of about 90 minutes, it is just long enough. Go into the film expecting some great 3D and fight scenes and you will leave happy.