After watching Highlander from my brother’s “collection,” I decided I wasn’t going to be getting any more movies from him considering he was obviously messing with me.
Chaz told me to get a hold of a DVD of The Legend of Hercules and asked me to watch it and write a review for his site. I was excited at the chance of doing some real movie reviews and since I wasn’t able to get to the theater, I jumped at the chance. The cover looked a little weird, because I figured it would have Dwayne Johnson on the cover, but it was a legit DVD made in 2014 so I figured I wasn’t getting fooled this time around. The production quality wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I figured that might just be me setting the bar really high after watching the Robocop remake, which I may review at a later date.
Everything that I read told me that Dwayne Johnson would have a starring role in this movie but I only saw him for about a minute in the beginning. I figured the studios learned from The Mummy Returns but I guess not. At least I thought it was him, the arms look almost like the right color.
Even without The Rock in a starring capacity there are a few well-knowns in the cast. We have Kellan Lutz, NOT the nephew of the SNL writer JD Lutz.
Scott Adkins plays King Amitriptyline and bears a striking resemblance to UFC’s Matt Brown.
Last but not least, Rade Serbedzija, who has played such amazing characters as Frightening Old Man in The Double, nameless Russian General in X-Men: First Class, and Homeless Man in Batman Begins, is playing Tron, a teacher of some kind that is neither explained nor important, but apparently important enough to cast a real actor which confuses me.
Overall this movie isn’t what I would call amazing but it certainly isn’t a Troma film. We have SyFy channel worthy CGI, mediocre overacting, and a plot that isn’t exactly following the mythology. This movie isn’t just terrible 300 style cinematography, commercial special effects, and soap opera caliber emotions; there is also plenty of eye candy to go around.
This film was directed by none other than Renny Harlin, who has brought us such gems as Cutthroat Island, The Covenant, and Driven. In that same vein he has seemed to capture Hercules with the same eye for detail that he is known. Cleaner? Really? Who greenlit that? Eva Mendes couldn’t even save that pile if they added a Top Gun style volleyball scene. Thank you Renny for being responsible for most of Samuel L. Jackson’s bad movies.
Something that needs to be discussed here is the plot. King Amphitryon is apparently a bad guy and thinks his wife (Alcmene) is cheating on him. Alcmene prays for help and Hera comes and helps her out and pimps Zeus out to get her preggers in a Ghostbusters-like ghost getting it on scene.
This completely changes the story of Hercules because Hera hated him because Zeus knocked up Alcmene. Amphitryon names the son he thinks isn’t his Alcides (similar to the werewolf ‘hunk’ in True Blood, Alcide), even though we already know his name is supposed to be Hercules, even though it should be Heracles. 20 years pass and we meet his OLDER brother Iphicles, who is supposed to be a fraternal twin and not an older brother according to myth, again changing the relationship between him and his brother. Iphicles is also a villain for no real reason besides generic jealousy. Hercules kills a random lion and gave the lion skin to his brother to impress their father; apparently this was supposed to be the Nemean Lion whose skin he carries around in myth. These are just a few of the horrible inconsistencies from the original myth in the first 20 minutes of the film. Shortly thereafter, this movie becomes Gladiator. For more information on Hercules, read a book.
There is also lots of unnecessary slow-mo. At least a few per fight, and they seem to be indiscriminately timed as well. Not the tasteful peppered in slow-mo we see in 300.
Long story short, even though the studio decided to cut Dwayne Johnson’s part out of the movie for whatever reason, I think it is at least an OK movie with enough action for dude-bro’s and enough shirtless Kellan Lutz to keep people into that sort of thing entertained. So, if you are wondering what movie to watch and you have seen just about everything else, go outside because you are likely Vitamin D deficient.