If you are looking for a movie with some intense fight scenes, an underdeveloped love story, poor dialogue and weak special effects, “The Legend of Hercules” is for you.
Outside of the worthless, short dialogue and random, unfitting special effects throughout the movie, there were some good moments. The fight scenes were well done, and some of the acting wasn’t completely terrible.
The movie starts with King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), the king of Tiryns, taking over Argolis. After Amphitryon’s wife, Alcmene (Roxanne McKee), asks for a gift from Greek goddess Hera, Zeus’ wife, she is given a child by Zeus named Hercules (Kellan Lutz).
Hercules has a love interest in Princess Hebe of Crete (Gaia Weiss), but because Amphitryon knows Hercules isn’t his son and thus favors his firstborn Iphicles (Liam Garrison), he arranges Hebe and Iphicles to wed.
Amphitryon sends Hercules on a suicide mission to find out about an uprising in Heliopolis, and only Hercules and the captain of the army, Sotiris (Liam McIntyre), survive. Hercules and Sotiris eventually make their way back to Greece through hand-to-hand fighting.
The acting throughout the movie was lackluster outside of McIntyre, Adkins and Lutz. McIntyre did really well because he was believable as a Greek warrior. Even when he was faced with imminent danger, he played his part very well. I would have liked to see him on screen more often.
Adkins played the tyrannical king with ease. He was arrogant throughout the film, making me hate him as was the goal.
Lutz was physically huge as the demigod Hercules. If his lines would have been better, I would think that he would have been a great choice for the movie. For example, whenever Hercules talks to princess Hebe he was given cheesy, cliche lines.
Both McKee and Weiss seemed like worthless characters to me outside McKee being Hercules’ mother and Weiss being his goal in returning to Tiryns. They were more of a burden than anything, as are most superhero girlfriends, but they were more in the way than normal.
The fight scenes were awesome as long as the director, Renny Harlin, didn’t decide to add lightning to the sword of Hercules. The only problem with the fight scenes were the inconsistency in Hercules’ strength. In one battle, Hercules took on handfuls of people at a time, but then he fought just one person and struggled and was even beaten down.
The first fight for Hercules, as it is in Greek mythology, was against the Nemean lion. The lion looked incredibly fake, and Hercules somehow survived while he managed to strangle the lion. How he got his arms around the lion’s head is still a mystery to me.
I am giving “The Legend of Hercules” a C- because of its terrible directing and weak writing.
Don’t go into this movie expecting the bright, song-filled story of Hercules that was portrayed in the Disney edition.
From start to finish, “The Legend of Hercules” was a battle-filled journey. The story comes from Greek mythology, so it is what it is.
The acting and script were what I really had a problem with. None of the actors in the cast were the usual Hollywood superstars, which was refreshing but also might be blamed for the overall poor acting in the movie. Hercules said almost nothing for a main character and came off as arrogant and dim-witted. King Amphitryon was probably the best actor but didn’t have a difficult character to portray. He was always yelling and trying to look intimidating. Iphicles, who is supposed to be another antagonist, gave a poor performance and turned out to be more pitiful than frightening.
Dialogue lacked as well. One scene passed to another and only one character would say anything. The lack of dialogue led to under-developed characters, which led me to not care about them.
The graphics left a lot to be desired as well. I watched the movie in 3D and everything looked fake. I attribute that slightly to the 3D effect, but the graphics themselves were just plain bad at times. At one point, a lion was standing on a rock and looked like a tiny toy that was more cuddly than frightening. I’ve come to expect more from action movies in this day and age.
However, the movie wasn’t all bad. The battles and fighting scenes were satisfying. Scenes of fast, intense fighting would switch seamlessly to the actor jumping in slow motion through the air with rain droplets, flames or arrows paused in mid air, and then back to the regular speed again. If you want to see well choreographed fight scenes with interesting camera work, then Hercules will not disappoint you.
Oh, and for the ladies, there are lots of well-oiled men who look like they came out of a Bowflex commercial.
Overall, I would give Hercules a D+. It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it won’t be one I will ever bother watching again.