“The Legend of Hercules” was one of the first, and will likely end-up being one of the worst, movies of 2014. A beefed-up Kellan Lutz, who played one of Edward Cullen’s vampire brethren in “The Twilight Saga”, stars as the title Greek hero. We witness Hercules’ rise from birth (with some electrical assistance from his father Zeus) to his position as the powerful leader of armies and prisoner to his sweetheart, Princess Hebe (what a name!)
In short – this film is god-awful. Lutz is the only recognizable actor on screen, and yes, ladies, he does have his shirt off most of the time. But he is absolutely bland in every scene in which he has to talk (though it’s not completely his fault – the soap-opera script is written at a bad, junior high school level) and quite unconvincing in the mindless action sequences filled with ridiculous mid-air, slow-motion sword play. Director Renny Harlin (“Die Hard 2”) even adds a few laughable 3D gimmicks with bad “300”-esque graphics serving as the backdrop. The rest of the cast of no-names contribute zombie-like performances to a story that makes Greek mythology even more dull and boring than it already is (which I didn’t think was possible).
“The Legend of Hercules” is, thankfully, only about an hour and a half, and it does get unintentionally funnier as it goes along, which is its only saving grace. There is one stand-out scene featuring a rather bizarre interpretation of a lion. Of course the ferocious beast is cheesy CGI, but the way it moves and attacks is unlike anything ever put on screen in the history of special effects. At first I thought the filmmakers might be paying tribute to the late, great Ray Harryhausen. But I quickly realized that, instead, they simply had no idea what they were doing.
And the closing credits also include something I’d never seen before: Cleaning ladies. Those will be my two take-aways from this complete and utter epic failure.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “The Legend of Hercules” gets a D-.
I’m looking forward to Dwayne Johnson in Brett Ratner’s take on “Hercules” coming out in July. “The Rock”‘s got nothing to worry about from this “Legend”.