Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
The good thing about The Asylum mockbusting Hercules is at least they can't be sued by anybody.  I don't think so anyway.  Monster Cables tried to sue people who used the word Monster and now San Diego Comic-con is suing folks who use the word 'comic-con' for their conventions, so you never know.  Homer might be somewhere, even as we speak, planning his legal strategy.  Of course this prattle is neither here nor there as we prep to discuss with you 'Hercules Reborn', a different type of Hercules movie to be sure.

Our film begins with a completely enraged Hercules (John Hennigan) murdering his family.  Kudos to the filmmakers as this really did happen in the mythology.  Not much else we are going to see actually happened, but at least this did.  Fast forward a bit to some kingdom where we get to see this films true star, the warrior Arius (Christian Oliver) engage in fun sword play with his BFF Horace (James Duval).  Key to this is that we get to observe that Arius is a master swordsman, I guess, and that he has impressed this kingdoms scurvy general Nikos (Dylan Vox), and finally we see that he has a hot girlfriend in Princess Theodora (Christina Ulfsparre).  Again, this is neither here nor there in relation to this movie, but actress Christina Ulfsparre bears more than a passing resemblance to Lindsay Lohan.  That is no insult, really.

Everything is just awesome right now for Arius… the love of a good woman, the respect of his friends, and a promotion to captain in the King's Guard, but alas this will be short lived.  General Nikos has gone to the king and demanded that they start conquering stuff, and mind you, Nikos makes some pretty valid points as to why they should do this.  The king however is all benevolent and whatnot and doesn't believe in conquering stuff.  So much for the king, and the princess is taken hostage. 
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The problem, of course, is that Arius was going to marry into the family and the newly crowned King Nikos isn't the friendliest king around so Arius needs to storm the castle, rescue the princess and return rule back to normal.  But to do this Arius figures he needs the might of the one they call Hercules, which his friends are convinced is nothing but a myth.  Well, Hercules is real all right, but when Arius and his boys find him, he's little but a stumbling, bumbling drunk… albeit one who still clearly works out a lot. 

There's a reason for this, of course, and Hercules will tell us this story eventually, after a whole lot of other stuff happens.  Stuff like Hercules alternatively hacking people to bits then barfing because he drinks too much.  Stuff like Nikos making sweet beautiful love to the princess while she's bound in cast iron shackles.  Stuff like Nikos murdering children. 

Eventually though, Hercules will get himself together.  Kind of.  And the siege of the castle will happen.  In a way.  After Hercules snaps the necks of the people who he is supposed to be helping.  It's complicated.  Will Nikos get his?  You know he will, but it's too bad really because he was kind of entertaining to watch.

Let's go ahead and compare that new Hercules movie, which I haven't seen yet, to The Asylum's take on Hercules.  Musclebound wrestler as your lead?  Check.  And that's it.  Our Hercules will not be battling mythical beasts or wooing wenches or any of that stuff.  No sir, that stuff costs a lot of money, even though I suspect this particular piece of cinema was one of The Asylum's more expensive features.  Our Hercules needs therapy, is what he needs.  No time to fight mythical beasts and stuff when one is constantly wallowing in self-pity and drinking one's life away.  In fact, our Hercules is barely a badass.  A Nemean Lion would totally f**k this guy up.  That Lion would seriously be sporting the skin of Hercules over his shoulder.  But that's not altogether a bad thing that Hercules often struggled to kick the ass of just one dude, because it humanizes him.  Would I rather see Hercules killing mythical beasts?  Sure I would, but this is what we got, so this is what we are going to weigh in on.

The truth of the matter, at least in my opinion, is that 'Hercules Reborn' wasn't so bad, all things considered.  The decision to make Hercules less than heroic hero was an interesting one, and while we might not have traveled that path personally, at least it worked well in the context that it was presented.  And to that end John Hennigan did an admirable job as Hercules the drunk bastard.  In fact most of the acting was at least tolerable, though Dylan Vox pretty much steals what little thunder there was to steal as General Nikos.  I was thinking they might've wanted to find him a gladiator helmet that actually fit, as opposed to the one they had bobbling around on his head, but at least they only made him wear it once.  The thing that made Vox's Nikos interesting was that he played his evil from a place of caring.  Sure he's murdering children, but it's all for the greater good, at least in his mind.  He sold me on that.

True, there are the usual issues with pacing, some of the acting, and scope, but at least we got a reasonably competent, and dare I say entertaining mockbuster this time around.  Dare I say?
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