Monday, 28 March 2016


“Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.” - Bob Riley

Sometimes a DVD falls into one’s lap and it seems a shame not to watch it as it is a freebie and the jacket notes read wonderfully well. This was the case with a movie that we watched recently and unfortunately, I must say that sometimes freebies are worth the price one spent on them, i.e. nothing…

The movie is the 2014 Renny Harlin sword and sandal epic “The Legend of Hercules” starring Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Liam McIntyre and Liam Garrigan. The writing credits (or should I say debits?) go to Sean Hood, Daniel Giat, Renny Harlin and Giulio Steve. This quartet was responsible for a puerile scenario that has little to do with Greek mythology and dialogue that is as cheesy as Swiss fondue.

The plot, if one can call it that, has as follows: King Amphitryon (Adkins), the father of Hercules despises his son since the day he was born, as he is really the son of Zeus, king of the gods and Queen Alcmene (McKee), Amphitryon’s wife. As soon as Amphitryon is able to find an excuse he sends Hercules to war, having to leave behind his true love, Princess Hebe (Weiss). King Amphitryon favours his elder son, Iphicles (Garrigan); unfortunately Iphicles is not warrior material let alone being able to lead a kingdom and win the heart of Princess Hebe. As fate would have it, Hercules survives the war and returns to reclaim his love and save the kingdom from the bad rule of King Amphitryon… A little familiar? Shades of “Gladiator”, perhaps?

The plot, thin as it is, is really an excuse for (lame) battle scenes (shown in brain-numbing slow motion) and the display of beefcake. The love story is ridiculous and the dialogue in the “tender” scenes is woeful and delivered just as badly. The mind boggles why with source material so full of fantastic possibilities, the writer quartet turned to half digested tripe in order to make this less than mediocre movie. There are so many other sword and sandal films that have done everything this film attempts to do so much better.

The acting is quite lamentable, the only actor who perhaps manages to speak lines convincingly being Liam McIntyre who plays Hercules’ bosom buddy “Sotiris” (ha ha! A modern Greek and very Christian name). Add to that terrible CGI and battle scenes where nobody bleeds or gets maimed (the film is PG13), and the whole things cries “fake” very loudly (just like the yelling of all of Adkins’ lines in every scene).

We definitely do not recommend you waste 100 minutes to watch this very bad film – if you do, the only hero will be you for having survived till the end. Disney’s animated spoof of 1997 “Hercules” is better! Or if you must have some live action Hollywood version of Greek mythology, the 2014 Brett Ratner film “Hercules” with Dwayne Johnson is OK.

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