The Legend of Hercules

Posted by Joel Copling on February 9, 2014

As flavorlessly written by Daniel Giat, Sean Hood, Giulio Steve, and director Renny Harlin, "The Legend of Hercules," which positions itself as the first of two Hercules-centered motion pictures to be released in 2014, is just about as close as one can get to experiencing absolutely nothing onscreen. Dialogue and the caramelized effect of post-converted 3-D imagery are often the most heinous offenders, burying an otherwise entirely uneventful experience in exposition and woefully unromantic, would-be-lovelorn, eye-roll-inducing dime-store quotes. It would seem the year's first obvious contender for my annual list of ten terrible movies if not for the probability that I won't remember it by December.

As for the plot, that's the problem with reviewing a movie of utterly no consequence such as this one: I couldn't tell you what happens in this movie if I was paid to write about it. I seem to remember the film having two connections to the "Harry Potter" series in the form of Rade Serbedzija, who here plays someone called Chiron, and the name of a character, Lucius (Kenneth Cranham), both of whose involvement in the proceedings is clearly minimal. And of course, the "Twilight" saga gets its recognition in the participation of Kellan Lutz as the title warrior, who escapes with his great love Hebe (Gaia Weiss) because they're destined to be together or whatever. I seem to vaguely recall an apparently important reason why they escape the clutches of their kingdom's rulers.

Ah, yes, Hercules is half-human and half-God, borne of Queen Alcmene's (Roxanne McKee) desire to trick her husband, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), into thinking that Hercules is actually his son. In reality, Hercules is the son of Zeus. There might be some "Gladiator"-esque combat, maybe? Zeus should have made an appearance in this third-rate rip-off of 2007's "300" and 2011's "Immortals," so as to prod this writer in the direction of caring more than none about writing up its premise. Lutz is an embarrassment to the art of the leading-man performance, Adkins overacts to a distressing degree, and though the film tries to shoehorn in some inane religious metaphors, it fails to come off as anything but wasteful of 99 precious minutes of one's Friday evening.

Film Information

Kellan Lutz (Hercules), Gaia Weiss (Hebe), Scott Adkins (King Amphitryon), Roxanne McKee (Queen Alcmene), Liam Garrigan (Iphicles), Liam McIntyre (Sotiris), Rade Serbedzija (Chiron), Johnathon Schaech (Tarak), Luke Newberry (Agamemnon), Kenneth Cranham (Lucius), Mariah Gale (Kakia), Sarai Givaty (Saphirra).

Directed by Renny Harlin and written by Harlin, Daniel Giat, Sean Hood, and Giulio Steve.

Rated PG-13 (intense combat action/violence, sensuality).

99 minutes.

Released on January 10, 2014.