Review: The Legend of Hercules Is A Poor Reincarnation of Every Ancient Greek Based Movie

Sheba Wood ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Courtesy of Summit Entertainment.
Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Courtesy of Summit Entertainment.
The Legend of Hercules hit theaters January 10th, but has already been seen by any moviegoer that has seen Gladiator (2000, starring Russell Crowe), Troy (2004, starring Brad Pitt), or 300 (2006, starring Gerard Butler). Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Deep Blue Sea, Cliffhanger) and starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight, Immortals, Prom Night), this movie is supposed to be the origin story of the titled demigod. While the movie did include critical members of the actual legend of Hercules, the chronological inaccuracies were hard to overlook.
The acting in the movie lacked genuine emotion. The delivery of the script was very monotone and even during scenes that were clearly meant to evoke either pain or love, the tone of voice seldom changed to indicate that the characters were fully aware of the gravity of their situations. Even Kellan Lutz, who physically looks like Hercules, lacked dimensions in his actions. Each love scene felt like the one before despite the ever-changing climate of their world and each battle felt like a small fight instead of something that could change the world.
Kellan Lutz and Gaia Weiss in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Credit: Simon Varsano / Summit Entertainment.
Kellan Lutz and Gaia Weiss in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Credit: Simon Varsano / Summit Entertainment.
As for Gaia Weiss who played Hebe, the love interest, her character felt obligatory and melodramatic. There were instances, in contrast to Lutz, where subtlety would have been more appropriate but due to her superfluous acting, turned what could have been touching romantic moments into comic release. Her character does gain some redemption at the end when she makes an amazing sacrifice that makes her seem like less of a damsel in distress. However, Hercules’ parents, who are played by Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2) and Roxanne McKee (Game of Thrones), handled themselves and the script with grace, and felt the most believable. Their characters, though not fond of each other, had fantastic and engaging chemistry on screen.
A redeeming quality of the film is the cinematography. While a lot of the effects and imagery are commonplace in similar films, it cannot be denied that the usage of vibrant colors, slow-motion fight scenes, and the most beautiful aspects of nature are well received. The use of the 3D effect was well applied, unlike many recent movies that charge extra for audience members to wear glasses with little to no actual added experience. Hopefully more movies that have a 3D viewing option will throw more things into the faces of audience members, because that makes the extra few dollars worth the uncomfortable plastic glasses.
Liam McIntyre and Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Credit: Simon Varsano / Summit Entertainment.
Liam McIntyre and Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules. Photo Credit: Simon Varsano / Summit Entertainment.
Unfortunately, those positive qualities were not enough to save the movie from itself. The Legend of Hercules, with such a large title had responsibilities to the audience to be thoroughly captivating and entertaining. The humor was uncomfortable because there was only one line in the movie that was probably intended to be funny. The acting aside from a few characters was poorly done. The plot twisted and turned giving people very little time to get to know the characters, and fully comprehend the situation. Perhaps if the movie had been placed at another point in the mythology or had actors with experience in films and plays with the same structure as the script, could have been a worthwhile experience. Hopefully, audiences will stick to the Disney version.
Overall Grade: C

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