Director: Renny Harlin
Starring: Kellan Lutz, Roxanne McKee, Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre
Release Date (US): 10th January, 2014
“Me, Hercules! You, Die!”
The Legend Of Hercules stars Kellan Lutz (Twilight) in the first of two Hercules films to hit cinemas this year. Renny Harlin’s (Deep Blue Sea) latest directorial attempt centres around the eponymous Greek hero’s adventures and hardships as he fights to win back the hand of the girl he loves, and win back his kingdom from his wicked step-father. Exiled from Greece, Hercules endures back-stabbing brothers and the brutal gladiatorial pits of Egypt, as he journeys back home to right his step-father’s wrongs.
I’m not really sure what to say about The Legend Of Hercules. Part of me is wondering why I’m spending any time reviewing it at all. This movie is hands down one of the worst pieces of film I’ve seen in years. It’s not even a ‘Hercules’ film at all really – more of an awful mismatch of Gladiator, Ben Hur and The Passion Of The Christ, patched together with a script that only Renny Harlin could produce. In other words: it’s a dumbass rip-off.
In the end though, that was probably what made this worth watching at all. The more ridiculous the story got, the more shamefully entertaining it was. As Hercules bounces between ‘epic’ battles, romantic getaways and brotherly feuding, each scene is more poorly executed than the last. The over-arching plot is predictable, while every fight scene is painfully tame. Other than that, I honestly couldn’t tell you anything more about the plot. I stopped paying attention about fifteen minutes in. I’m just kidding. It was more like ten.
“I’m sexy and I know it…”
Acting? What acting? In all seriousness, you end up feeling sorry for the actors roped into this production. Particularly Liam McIntyre (Spartacus: Blood And Sand), who has shown genuine talent in the past, and stands head and shoulders above his co-stars here – simply by turning up. Scott Adkins put in a better performance as that ‘mute Deadpool… thing’ in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, while the greatest compliment I can give to Kellan Lutz is for his abs. Roxanne McKee (Dominion) shows the acting range of a teaspoon.
Direction & Tone
Ah, here’s the real culprit. Legend has it that Renny Harlin once made good movies, like Die Hard 2. Then he clearly thought: “where’s the fun in doing that?” and gave us a long line of cinematic duds that would make Tyler Perry jealous. The film even takes itself too seriously to be considered tongue-in-cheek. In addition to all of the creative woes, the movie has absolutely nothing going for it behind the scenes either, with costumes, visuals, sound and editing like something out of a made-for-TV special.
- Pajiba’s Steven Lloyd Wilson called this movie “The Mentally Challenged Golden Retriever Of Cinema“. Oddly enough, I find that rather appropriate…
- If you’re still struggling to understand how ridiculous this movie is – a woman gets impregnated by the wind. The wind.
- While the above quotes are not actually from The Legend Of Hercules, they do accurately replicate the intellectual prowess that went into writing the movie’s script.
With a story even more clichéd than its sounds, and a director that’s clearly long since given up on his craft, this movie is sure to make you laugh and cry… for all the wrong reasons. Step aside I, Frankenstein – this is 2014’s worst film.