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Film Review – The Legend of Hercules

Director: Renny Harlin
Screenplay: Sean Hood
Cast: Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins and Roxanne McKee
Genre: Action Fantasy
Ratings: *

The Legend of Hercules tells the story of the circumstances under which Hercules (Kellan Lutz) was born and how he overcomes his enemies and all the obstacles that he faces. In 1200 BC in ancient Greece, Queen Alcmene(Roxanne McKee) gives birth to a healthy baby boy who is not the son of King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) her husband, but the son of Zeus, the reigning deity of the Olympian pantheon. The king, however, has a strong suspicion that it is not his son and names him Alcides, but the queen secretly names him Hercules.
Since he was an infant, Hercules has always been in rivalry with his older brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), who is the legitimate son of King Amphitryon.  Tis rivalry intensifies when both Hercules and Iphicles fall in love with Hebe (Gaia Weiss), the princess of Crete. To get rid of Hercules the king decides to send him to Egypt to join a military campaign as a soldier. But this campaign is actually an ambush that the king has set up to get rid of Hercules, once and for all.

As fate would have it, Hercules survives together with another soldier called Sotiris (Liam McIntyre). Unfortunately, both are caught and they are sold as slaves to become gladiators. Eventually they manage to return to Greece, where Hercules seeks his love, Hebe and takes his revenge against the king and his son. The Legend of Hercules could have been a very good movie if it were made before Gladiator in 2000, with Russel Crowe, Troy in 2004, with Brad Pitt and 300: Rise of the Empire in 2006, with Gerard Butler. The screenplay incorporates all three of these movies. Watching The Legend of Hercules, I could sense elements of all three these movies. Needless to say, it then just became boring to me. There was very little fresh or new about which one can say that it is really new, or “I have not seen that before.” Both in the drama and in the historical background, it is a rehash of a theme, or several themes that were developed far better in the preceding  “ancient” historical films.
Even the special effects and the way that some scenes go into slow motion has been done before. I would seriously advice any other director who decides to make a movie depicting this era, to come up with a different angle or to simplify it more, then maybe it will not look so familiar to the audience.
There is nothing that stands out in this film, if you really want to watch it do not expect too much from it. The acting is also mediocre and the way that they tried to make the characters larger than life is just plain farce, not believable at all.
The ladies will probably only enjoy it because there is some eye candy for them, lots of men without shirts showing off their muscles. Even the evil king looks good. Overall, The Legend of Hercules is just too cheap, dull, and seriously lacking entertainment value regardless whether one looks at it as a drama, or just a fancy fable. So rather skip this one and wait for 300: Rise of the Empire, coming soon. Those critics who have seen it are already raving about it. It sounds as if it will not disappoint.

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