Sold into slavery and his love promised to his older brother when his suspicious stepfather King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins, "The Expendables 2"), suspects the demigod may not be his own, the son of Zeus (Kellan Lutz, "Twilight's" Emmett Cullen) overcomes many obstacles to retake his rightful kingdom in "The Legend of Hercules."
Director Renny Harlin, once known for 80's actioners like "Die Hard 2" and "Cliffhanger," starts off the 2014 stinker list with a movie that barely looks like one. Bad casting, a story which dismisses legends for battles and gladiator arenas, along with artificial looking sets, obvious matte backgrounds and lousy special effects all add up to laughable tedium.
In Argos, 1200 B.C., Amphitryon establishes himself as the bloodthirsty tyrant which has his Queen, Alcmene (Roxanne McKee, "Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines"), praying for his downfall. That wins her a date with Zeus, who impregnates her a la "The Entity" if done as perfume ad porn. Her second son, Hercules, is destined to carry out her wish.
He grows up hiding his real identity, spending his time cavorting with Princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss), royally pissing off his brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan, TV's 'The Pillars of the Earth') who believes he has first dibs. When the brothers encounter a lion on their way back to the castle, Hercules kills it in a chokehold, but Iphicles claims the glory (questionable, as the lion looks like a low rent Aslan). In short order, Amphitryon announces his eldest's engagement to Gaia and Hercules is sent along with his best mate Sotiris (Liam McIntyre, TV's 'Spartacus: War of the Damned') into a series of hoped-to-be-fatal gladiatorial cage matches (where they'll fight rejects from "Road Warrior" villain auditions).
Lutz doesn't exactly embarrass himself, but the brawny teen sensation looks more like an amiable jock than a Greek demigod. Harlin slathers on the beefcake, using the dated 'stop-the-action-for-a-few-seconds-of-slo-mo-before-abruptly-restarting-same' device ad nauseum. In order to be sure we notice we're watching in 3D, every scene between Hercules and Gaia is enveloped in floating dandelion fluff (or is it goose down? or snow? Hard to tell.). Harlin caps off everything with a massacre back at the homestead where the one person least likely to survive miraculously does. In a word, awful.
Robin did not see this film.
Home | Reviews and Ratings Archive | Top 10 | Video | Crew | Article | Links
Reeling has been chosen as a Movie Review Query Engine Top Critic.