Anytime you see “This January” in a film trailer it’s time to lower your expectations. The first two months of the year are notoriously bad times to be seeing movies and if you unfortunately find yourself in a theater watching The Legend of Hercules this month it’ll be no different.
This hapless venture by the director of such prestigious films as Deep Blue Sea and Cutthroat Island (Renny Harlin) is a biggest tragedy to the Greeks since the disaster at Pompei. The film chronicles the life of Alcides played by Twilight series star Kellan Lutz who falls in love with a Greek princess who is to be wed by his comically evil half-brother. When he tries to escape with the princess he is captured and exiled to war by his step father king but not before discovering from his mother that he is a half-God named Hercules. Now he must fight his way back, a la Gladiatior or 300 to win back his bride and bring balance to the kingdom.
To say this film is a gigantic turd would be an understatement. The script has enough ham and cheese in it to fill every five-dollar foot-long in the world! If this was the supposed to be the breakout role of Kellan Lutz’s career, then I’m afraid he’ll be stuck in sparkly-vampire hell for a long time. Lutz delivers his lines like a body builder who’s pre-workout hasn’t kicked in; lazily and with little emotion and charisma. He is more Bro-cules than Hercules. Poor script writing could be the cause of this but it appears Lutz did little to bring out any character in the legendary Greek hero.
The film feels less like a Hercules film but more like a cheap rip-off of every major sword and sandal flick that has come out in the last decade. Director, Renny Harlin, must have watched a lot of Starz’ Spartacus before filming this movie as Liam MacIntyre and a couple Spartacus-esque moments crawl their way unfortunately into this movie. MacIntyre makes the most out of the scenes he’s in but even his charisma can’t save this steaming pile of a movie. Scott Adkins as King Amphitryon seems to only deliver his lines through clinched teeth like a roided-out football player and Gaia Weiss as Hebe is a forgettable love interest.
The film did little in the action department to cover-up the glaring flaws of the script and story. The action scenes are played out as if they were directed by a 13-year-old fan boy of 300 and the visuals are so fake looking that it feels like they are a decade too late. If you are expecting any blood and gore, a la Spartacus, then you’ll be sadly disappointed. Death scenes are watered down to make its PG-13 rating credible as deaths are always cut away before the money shot.
All together the result of the film is baffling. The film feels every bit like a movie directed by someone who did Deep Blue Sea but with less bad movie charm. The film isn’t fun enough to recommend to casual action movie-goers and it’s not quite bad enough to recommend to the so-bad-it’s-good crowd.
Your best bet is to wait for it on Netflix and save your money. The Legend of Hercules is an embarrassing romp that is sure to make Zeus throw down a few lightning bolts in his wrath. Wait for The Rock’s upcoming Hercules film instead; it can’t be worse than this.
Watch the trailer here.