Sunday, January 5, 2014



Review By:
G.P. Manalo 
 Directed By:
Renny Harlin
Kellan Lutz 
Gaia Weiss
Scott Adkins

Hollywood continues the trend of having two similar movies in one year (last year we had two white house takeover movies). Later this year Hercules will be played by Dwayne “The Franchise Saviour” Johnson in Hercules: The Thracian Wars, but right now we have the Kellan Lutz version out in theaters and this is pretty much an atrocious attempt at bringing the greek hero to life. The film tries to be self-aware of how bad it is and be a dumb action movie but instead feels like a blatant rip-off of Gladiator with action scenes from 300. 

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES tells the origin of the mythical Greek hero, Hercules: In ancient greek, King Amphitryon has grown mad with power once he had ruled a neighbouring kingdom, his wife is not fond with his behaviour. She prayed to the Gods for deliverance, Hera appears to her and told her that she will bear the son of Zeus. 20 years later, Hercules has become a man or royalty but a thorn in the side of his father. Because of forbidden love between him and Hebe, a princess of Crete his father has exiled him to Egypt. Hercules, has set out on a journey just to be ambushed, sold to slavery and take part as a Gladiator. As he becomes a famed Gladiator, he fights to return to his kingdom and overthrow his father, the king. 

When I first heard that Hercules will have a Hollywood-ized re-telling of his origin, I was both intrigued and feared. Intrigued because I was raised by the Disney’s Hercules movie and I grew up wondering if that is his true story or not (I soon realized it’s not because it is made by Disney) and knowing that Hollywood is finally doing a movie about Hercules (twice in one year), I could finally get that movie.  But most of all I was in fear. In fear, because when the trailer for this movie was released there was never one-line spoken by the lead and there were gratuitous amounts of the 300 slow-mo action effects, not to mention bad special effects and the other actors who had speaking lines sounded like they have a forced British accents – I pretty much summed up the flaws in this movie, did I?

But not only that really, the big flaw that everybody is talking about is that it tries to be that “it’s so bad, it’s good” type of movie, it tries to be self-aware that the movie is terrible and it won’t try it’s best to even be a good movie but movie acts like everything it is doing is meant to be taken seriously but it is really not. The movie is directed by someone who had a history of making “it’s so bad, it’s good” type of movies and it being Deep Blue See and Die Hard 2, but this kind of quality is far from those. Like I said earlier the movie felt like a direct-to-dvd rip-off of Gladiator, think of it this way a man who is associated with a family of royalty and somehow gets screwed over, sold to slavery, becomes a gladiator and now he will work his way up again to have his revenge….. Rings any bells?!  

The movie’s selling point is the action and the special effects; the action of the movie was enjoyable for a little while. Sure, there was an amazing scene from the trailer where they showed Hercules’ strength but that was halfway through the movie. The action scenes borrows the slow motion effect sequence from 300 (where things will slow down and abruptly goes back to normal speed), but the effect was over-used unnecessarily more than once up to the point where the action becomes repetitive and dull to watch for the most part. The special effects on the other hand do make the experience worse. The movie is pretty much a green screen movie that looked like something from the Star Wars prequels and you can tell by most of the shots in this movie, but the problem with the green screen effects is that it looks unfinished in some scenes (you can tell by that opening shot of a woman riding a horse or that lion in that gladiator-ish scene). For a $70 million dollar movies they make really shitty special effects.

The writing and the directing didn’t give specific tones to the film resulting to the performances in this movie being bland and lifeless, most of the actors either talk like modern-day people or people sounding like they are gargling marbles for it to sound like a greek accent. I can tell that some actors are trying but they ended up sounding like they were growling their dialogue. Kellan Lutz does physically embody Hercules, but really there is nothing more beyond that. There’s a perfectly good reason why he never spoke one line in the trailers. The way he speaks his lines is like a bad Chris Hemsworth Thor impression but with less charisma or personality and emotion. Gaia Weiss spewing out romantic dialogue and looking like she is a reject actress for a Porno. Scott Adkins sounded like he was doing a bad impression of Leonidas as is his opposite, Roxanne McKee doing an even blander version of Queen Gorgo.

In the end, The Legend of Hercules is a heavily flawed movie to begin with. As I write this review and rack my brain for an hour, I find it difficult to find something good about it. The film is selling itself as a dumb action movie but in reality the film tries to be a serious movie but you find yourself being distracted by the dumb and silly quality of the overall film. The director has always made bad movies that are quite good but this is just not one of them. I can't really recommend that you see this movie immediately in theaters, it's a safe watch for you when the movie is premiered in TV and you could probably enjoy it in that format. If Disney would write a song for this movie it should be called “zero to zero” because... Hercules and…. That’s the quality of the movie… I’ll get the fuck out now….

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