The Legend of Hercules

DIRECTOR: Renny Harlin

CAST: Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Liam Garrigan, Liam McIntyre



RATING: 1 star (out of 5)

Stephanie Merry

there’s good news for Brett Ratner, the director behind Hercules, which comes out in July. It’s hard to imagine that the summer blockbuster could be worse than The Legend of Hercules, which should fade quickly into obscurity.

Dwayne Johnson, who takes the title role in Ratner’s rendition, has more charisma in one raised eyebrow than Lutz can muster during an entire pre-battle speech in The Legend of Hercules. Lutz has the muscles to play the powerful demigod offspring of Zeus and the mortal queen Alcmene, but he could have skipped a few gruelling weight-lifting routines to take some acting lessons.

In his defence, the script does him no favours.

The movie tells the creation story of Hercules, as his mother falls out of love with her husband, King Amphitryon (a spectacularly overacting Adkins), and his warring ways and prays to Hera for peace. The goddess comes up with a plan which involves letting her husband, the almighty Zeus, sleep with Alcmene (McKee) and father a child who shall bring peace to the land. This scheme leads to one of the most unintentionally funny sex scenes in memory, as Alcmene is visited in her bed one night by the invisible god, who expresses pleasure by mooing like a cow.

But the meat of the story is this: Hercules falls in love with a princess, who is betrothed to his evil brother Iphicles (Garrigan), and the equally vile King Amphitryon sends his supposed offspring to co-opt distant lands where certain death awaits him.

Of course, he doesn’t die, and he and another Greek, Sotiris (McIntyre), become best bros as they journey back to Argos to foil the nuptials that are to take place three moons hence.

Recurring visions of the fake moon were just some of the moments that caused outbursts of incredulous laughter during a recent screening. Another such instance came when Hercules killed the Nemean lion, a computer-generated monster that looks like an animatronic stuffed animal.

Aside from bad dialogue and worse special effects, one of the most frustrating features of Legend is its shortage of lingering shots. Quick cutting is an epidemic in modern movies, but in this case, when scenes end – usually with some one-liner – there’s no time to process the words before we’re thrust into some new action.

It doesn’t appear that a lot of time or effort was put into the script, but with this kind of cutting, director Harlin (who also is one of the writers) makes clear what little value he places on words.

Some of the fight scenes are genuinely exciting, and McIntyre, who clearly has acting ability well beyond this type of work, manages to keep a straight face. But the only thing epic about The Legend of Hercules is what a failure it is. – Washington Post

If you liked Clash of the Titans, you will like this.