Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Kellan Lutz as Hercules
THE LEGEND OF HERCULES (2014). Director: Renny Harlin.

Argos, 1200 B.C.: Wanting a hero to end the reign of tyranny of her husband, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), Queen Alcmeme (Roxanne McKee) agrees to bear the child of Zeus, a boy who becomes known as Alcides. However, the child's true name is Hercules (Kellan Lutz) and he grows into a hero who takes on the forces of his evil stepfather with the aid of such friends as Sotiris (Liam McIntyre). A complication is that Hebe (Gaia Weiss) is engaged to Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), Alcides' half-brother, but is in love with Alcides. Who cares? Legend of Hercules has excellent scenic design and some astounding shots [Sam McCurdy], but unlike the tales of mythology that spawned it (but which it pretty much ignores) it hasn't got a bit of  fantasy in it. Director Harlin has a habit of freezing the action for a second or two (or employing slow motion) during fight scenes, a "technique" that quickly becomes annoying. A Nemean lion that briefly appears looks like something out of a video game. Tuomas [sic] Kantelinen's musical score is a plus, but if anything puts this over it's the acting, especially the performances of Lutz and Adkins as chief opponents. Renny Harlin also directed the unfortunate Exorcist: The Beginning.

Verdict: As mythological films go this is much too prosaic but plenty butch, a fantasy film with nothing fantastic. **1/2.

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