Movie review: ‘The Legend of Hercules’
January 16, 2014
THE LEGEND OF HERCULES
Directed by Renny Harlin
Starring Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Liam Garrigan, Johnathon Schaech, Gaia Weiss, Rade Serbedzija
Rated PG-13, Fantasy, 98 minutes
"The Legend of Hercules" is a half-baked melodrama where Hercules (Kellan Lutz) is lousy with enemies. He's also smitten with Hebe (Gaia Weiss), the blonde, comely Princess of Crete. Her reciprocation incites the jealous rage of Herc's cowardly brother, the heir to the Greek throne, Iphicles (Liam Garrigan). Unable or unwilling to fight his own battles, Iphicles depends upon dear old dad, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), to sideline Hercules.
However, there's a secret neither Hercules nor his scheming brother and father know. Twenty years earlier, after forcing the lovely Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) to become his queen, King Amphitryon was cuckolded by the god Zeus, producing a demigod son who would one day depose the cruel king.
On the eve preceding Hercules's banishment, Queen Alcmene reveals her son's parentage, but it changes nothing in Herc's heart. The film hastens to season him, setting into motion circumstances that will make the demigod a slave, fighting gladiator-style death matches in a far-off land.
Positioned as the origin story for what Lionsgate hopes will become the next mythological superhero franchise, the story and its action sequences careen across the screen, skidding out of control.
The mortal Hercules endures numerous beatings from which he emerges unscathed, but, after pledging his belief in the almighty Zeus, he is able to summon superhuman strength, as well as command both wind and lightning. These powers ought to put an end to our suffering. Instead, we watch him switch back and forth between mortality and immortality, ensuring protracted battles as he attempts to defeat the cruel king.
The film's murky CGI and lackluster 3D appear to be hastily done on the cheap. Ditto the script ridden with clunky dialog. A ghastly silver-blue pall hangs over the cinematography, making every scene feel like driving through a fog bank. At least with driving through a fog bank, you eventually might arrive at your destination.