Film Review: The Legend of Hercules

Hercules-The-Legend-Begins-2014-Movie-Poster

Plot: Born from a mortal woman (Roxanne Mckee) and the God Zeus, Hercules (Kellan Lutz) is cast out by his tyrannical stepfather, King Amphitryion (Scott Adkins). Hercules vows to take back his kingdom, and to be reunited with the woman he loves (Gaia Weiss) before she weds the King’s wicked son (Liam Garrigan).

I’m sure we often grow envious of actors. They have awesome jobs, and get paid a crap load of money to do those jobs. Meanwhile, most of us are sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer screen all day. When I watched The Legend of Hercules though, something occurred to me…this is the acting equivalent to sitting in a cubicle. How these actors were able to stay awake while delivering the most boring, lazy, mind-numbing dialogue imaginable for multiple takes is beyond me. In fact, you could make the argument that some of them didn’t stay awake. So gather ’round young scholars, as we examine The Legend of Hercules, the latest from director Renny Harlin, or as I like to call him after this movie, the God of Boredom.

We have to start with Hercules himself, Kellan Lutz, another Twilight cast-off. I hate to be that guy, I really do. I don’t want to just pile on Twilight actors, but Kellan Lutz…wow. How is it possible to be that uninterested in anything? I’m actually sort of impressed. I guess when Hercules was born, Zeus sucked out any personality in the character, because none of it’s here. While Lutz never falls asleep, there’s a moment where his right hand man is giving him a sort of pep talk, and Lutz literally looks like he’s not paying attention. He’s actually looking off to the side. What’s he thinking about? Global Warming? The Carolina Panthers pass rush? Super Mario Brothers 2? I don’t know, but he wasn’t thinking about his performance, that’s for sure. This is just bad.

Don’t worry though, because Lutz doesn’t deliver the only bad performance. Gaia Weiss plays Hebe, Hercules’ love interest. Weiss has terrible line delivery, and her facial expressions always look like there’s an awful smell in the room. Then we have Liam Garrigan, King Amphitryion’s weenie son, and heir to the throne. Garrigan’s performance is like a ninth rate Joaquin Phoenix from Gladiator. Speaking of King Amphitryion, Scott Adkins’ performance was one of the few I actually enjoyed. It’s over the top, but at least the man brings some energy to a movie that desperately needed it. Although, his first fight scene is just incoherent yelling. The other halfway decent performance of note was Roxanne Mckee as Queen Alcmene, who had a few nice moments in an otherwise deadpanned movie.

In a film about Hercules and ancient Greek wars, there’s certainly going to be a lot of fighting. While these scenes overall were decent, they do the whole Zack Snyder 300 Slo-Mo speed up motif. Apparently I drove to the theater in a DeLorean and went back to 2007. Seriously, they used this all the time. Cut me a break.

I have nothing else to say about this movie. The first scene drops you right into a loud obnoxious CG-fested Battle Royale, and I stopped caring from there. The score sounded like somebody farted it out for two hours. It’s boring as hell, and I didn’t care about anything going on whatsoever.

Rating: 3.5 out of 10 (Atrocious)

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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