Movie Review: The Legend of Hercules
There’s the story about Hercules most people know, son of Zeus, amazing strength, his twelve labors, the Hydra. This are all pretty basic if you were to ask any person what they know about Hercules. Somehow The Legend of Hercules decided to reinvent the wheel.
Starring Kellan Lutz, The Legend of Hercules starts with Amphitryon, (Scott Adkins) a conqueror who is laying siege to a kingdom and defeats its king. He is known as the conqueror of worlds and its clear (after the fact) he attacked this city to prove he was strong and expand his empire. His wife Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) realizes her husband is but a monster and fears that her son Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) may grow to be like him. She goes to the temple to pray to Goddess Hera to stop her husband. Hera not only answers she admits as much as she hates it her husband has been trying to have this beautiful queen for ages and that thru some odd logic allows her husband to cheat to sire the boy who will end it all. We never see any gods in this version just their presence or when they take over the body of a human.
Once Hercules is born we breeze forward to his adult life, the woman he loves Hebe (Gaia Weiss), his relationship with his half-brother and how the king feels about having him around knowing he’s not his son. Things all go to hell when Iphicles is betrothed to Hebe. When they try to escape, Hercules is sent into the military where the king hires mercenaries to kill him and the entire battalion. After a lengthy battle where he shows he’s strength only Hercules and his commander Sotiris survive. They are both sold into slavery where they work on how to survive underground fighting and get back to Greece. Hercules all this time is focused only on getting back before Hebe and Iphicles wedding day. How short-sighted is that?
I don’t know why but all the stuff about Hercules you like is missing. We only get one mythical creature the Nemean lion, and this is before Hercules has even the slightest idea he may have god-like powers. There’s barely any outer element of godly interference, no wrath of Hera and Zeus will not do anything for him until Hercules acknowledges and accepts him as his true father, might you a fact he wasn’t aware of until 2 months prior and his sole motivation for everything is a woman. Even when told he has a bigger purpose and who his father is he still ignores it till he is forced to accept it which is weird. I feel like they wanted to tell an against all odds story and just slapped the name Legend of Hercules on it. He could have easily been some random prince or a poor farm boy.
One of the best things about The Legend of Hercules is the 3D and it was great. This is not just depth of field 3D its the spears flying at your face, flower petals falling from the sky, flames all in your face 3D. Even the slo-mo fight scenes weren’t half bad, they just didn’t make any sense. The lighting battle? No, just no. I couldn’t make heads or tails of this film half the time I watched it. What are they doing, why is he so stubborn, I even thought to myself, 3 years ago this would have been Channing Tatum. Its just an odd little movie. I have to hope the other Hercules film coming out this year at least tries to use the actual myth.
My Rating: Redbox
Worth the upcharge:
Director: Renny Harlin
Studio: Millennium Films, Summit Entertainment
Release Date: January 10, 2014
Run time: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13