Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Legend of Hercules

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I never realized the legend was that Hercules was kind of a lifeless, personality-less boring man.




The Legend of Hercules – 1 out of 5

"Weeee!"
Ancient Greek mythology, and just the myth of Hercules in general, is pretty awesome. It’s been done over and over again over the years and with varying success—shit, even Disney adapted the story and that was pretty awesome thanks to James Woods as Hades. Things are even more exciting when we know that there’s a Hercules movie coming out with The Rock in it and if that doesn’t make you salivate with anticipation and pop an action-induced boner…well, I respect your difference of opinion but I must insist that when you and I go to the theater to see that that you pay for your own ticket…but we’ll go halfsies on popcorn. Any-who, my hat has to go flying off with respect towards the production of The Legend of Hercules because they were able to take a character that has interest, intrigue and complete badasshood and made his story boring and incredibly dull.

"How dull can I be with such obvious wire-assisted jumps?"


It's not the King who rules...it's his beard.
You know the story of Hercules but, for those that don’t…in ancient Greece, Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) prays to the old Gods and ends up getting her prays answered in the form of Zeus’ dick. The god impregnates her with a child that is looked down upon by his stepfather, the King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins). Favoring his weaker son Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), the King sells his other son, named Hercules (as if you couldn’t guess that), into slavery in hopes that he will be tossed into the realm of Hades and removed from this mortal coil. Meanwhile, Iphicles is set to be with Hercules’ (Kellan Lutz) true love Hebe (Gaia Weiss). While away, Hercules teams with a betrayed soldier; Sotiris (Liam McIntyre), and the two set forth to stop the evil King and see the son of Zeus live up to the legend that will one day be the only defining moment for Kevin Sorbo's career.

For a hero, Hercules sure stands like he just pissed himself.


"My brother may be the son of a god and incredibly dull
but at least I'm a total puss...and just as dull actually."
It’s pretty hard to screw up a story about Hercules because the dude is a demi-god and is capable of kicking all sorts of ancient monsters’ asses thanks to his dad getting his freak on with a human and giving him some God DNA. Shit, even Disney made a Hercules film that was filled with great action and spectacle but, somehow, the producers of this film felt they needed to have the film neutered of all its intrigue and its potential for fist-pumping action. While there’s nothing wrong with having a story about Hercules focus on his love for a woman and that love inspiring him to fight off the metaphoric and literal chains he was placed in by his stepdad but the big problem comes is that this love story is dull and extremely boring with no flavor whatsoever.

"Do a Hercules movie, they said.  It'll be a great, action-packed follow up to
Spartacus, they said.  Meanwhile Crixus is kicking ass on Arrow..."


It's as if the director is saying, “Yes, our love story is monotonous and one-dimensional but wait till you see what we do with our action sequences…they’re even worse!” How on Earth can you have a story containing Greek mythology and water it down to the point that the only reason the film has a PG-13 rating is because of pantomimed sex?

Seriously, this has to be the only reason it didn't get a G-rating.


"Help, there's clearly no way I can get out.  Hercules
has bested me."
Hercules is supposed to be the ultimate hero and all-around badass but what we get is a hero looks like he’s allergic to fighting. I’ll overlook that occasionally the horrible editing of the film ended up causing punch sound effects to not exist while Herc is punching dudes and end up making him look like he missed and his opponent was paid in gold coins by the demi-god to take a dive but I can’t overlook that we have gladiator-like fight sequences where Hercules is trapping his opponents in nets they can easily escape from and somehow is knocking out opponents with a club to the shoulder blades. The imagery of these coliseum fights instantly call up memories of blood-based fountains from neck stubs thanks to such tales as Gladiator and Spartacus and foregoing any real balls with the action made the entire film feel empty and a weak gesture at pandering to mass audience with an emphasis of not offending them with boiled down, tasteless action. More importantly, it made the already lifeless and uninteresting character of Hercules come off as a weakling. I understand that a true hero knows when not to save a life but having your hero just kinda throw stuff at people and lightly tap them on the back to send them into an unconscious state makes your iconic mythological being look sad and pathetic and incapable of living up to his name.

"Are you not entertained?!?"

"No, we're not.  You're boring and lack interest."


Of course, the fact that Hercules was played by a dude from Twilight didn’t help things either.

Duhhhhhhhhh....


There’s no point in playing coy, the only reason Kellan Lutz got the job of playing Hercules is because of his physique. The guy has great abs but can’t act for shit and, seemingly, the production thought that was fine because they allowed his minimalist reactions and emotional output for each and every scene and still thought enough of the final product to release it unto the world in, I’m assuming, a false sense of hope that they would somehow make their money back. Lutz has absolutely no range whatsoever and he really only has two speeds in this film: He either looks like he just woke up from a nap and immediate pounded down an entire Thanksgiving meal and chased it with an entire bottle of horse tranquilizers or he just growls and yells. I guess, however, this all makes sense with the overall composition of the film because there was no care put into the forgettable fight scenes, the special effects look worse than something you would have seen in the 70s and 80s and the story just feels like it died halfway through and no one noticed; so why not cast your main character with someone who looks like he’s too confused to understand what is going on?

Oh, he's hulking out!  This could be big...
...Or he just rips off the top of the pillars.

"Fear my poorly CG'ed lighting sword!"
I can’t really say that The Legend of Hercules was a disappointment because I didn’t go into the film with any real expectations—knowing that Herc is played by the “dumb” vampire from Twilight really makes sure your sights are set low. In reality, the film is nothing else but boring and incredibly mundane. Here’s hoping the Hercules film with The Rock is much better…it won’t be difficult for any sort of improvement to be made…in fact, just having The Rock instead of Lutz is already a vast upgrade.

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