Renny Harlin’s ‘The Legend of Hercules’ is the first of two 3D Hercules movies coming out this year. After seeing this one, it’s difficult to remember that Harlin actually directed fun movies like ‘Cliffhanger‘ and ‘Die Hard 2‘. Whatever directing chops he once had in the action genre are not available anywhere here. This PG-13 flick tries to be ‘300’, but its terrible script, awful acting, poorly choreographed fight scenes and laughable visual effects make it feel more like a made-for-TV movie.
I mean, if you’re going to have over a thousand people die in your movie, you’re gonna need at least one drop of blood. Sadly, that’s not the case here. We don’t see any blood, let alone anyone getting stabbed or shot with an arrow. The camera always cuts away at the last moment as it ramps back and forth from slo-mo to normal speed.
Nobody’s favorite vampire brother Kellan Lutz plays Hercules, and is as dry as they come. He has no charisma, charm or wit about him. Sure, he can yell at the sky and has a chiseled body, but that’s as far as his talent goes. We catch Hercules in his twentieth year of life frolicking with his love interest in the water. Meanwhile, back at home, his mean, jealous older brother will one day take over their evil tyrant father’s throne and marry his brother’s girl. Before that can happen, Hercules must find out that he’s really the son of the God of Gods, and therefore unstoppable.
This doesn’t bode well for good filmmaking, because there’s never a moment where the audience feels like Hercules is in any real danger – not even when he gets sold into slavery and is forced to fight six warriors at the same time in the vein as ‘Gladiator’. And what would a Hercules movie be if he didn’t fight a giant lion with his bare hands and win?
This is a huge let-down for everyone involved. Not one aspect of this movie is executed well, with the possible exception of the first two minutes where a long tracking shot of Spartans charge a kingdom. From there, the movie nose-dives and never recovers.