Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Say somebody comes to me and says, 'Chris, you've been tasked with drafting our first ever all Hollywood tackle football team, but ex-athletes are out'.  That means no Dwayne Johnson, no Brian Bosworth, no Bill Romonowski, no Terry Crews… nobody like that.  Just actors.  So to speak.  Well, I'm drafting Kellen Lutz in the first round.  Fullback maybe?  But probably better served as an outside linebacker where his size and speed can be best put to use.  This is one big, musclebound dude.  I felt I should start out by saying something nice about Kellen because it doesn't look like I'm going to be saying too many nice things about him and his movie 'The Legend of Hercules'.

Our film starts with hordes of Greeks… I guess… running from stuff and then falling down.  This was meant to simulate the horrors of war, but it actually stimulated the wonders of laughter.  Eventually we settle in on King Amphitryon, as played by FCU favorite Scott Adkins, who challenges the ruler of Typhos… I think… to a mano-a-mano battle for all the marbles.  This dude gets his ass kicked.  We could tell by just looking at the two of them that this was a sucker bet.  Anyway, Amphitryon claims his kingdom, but more importantly he claims the queen Alcmeme (Roxanne McKee) and promptly knocks her up with child.  Thing is, Alcmeme hates the king and begs for guidance from the gods, which basically gets her raped by Zeus, and results in the birth of her child Hercules.  Amphitryon ain't dumb though, he knows that baby isn't his and he thinks Hercules is a stupid name anyway and calls the kid something else.  I don't remember what.

So this kid not yet called Hercules grows up to be and strong and looks like Kellen Lutz.  He loves the princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss) something awful, the two of them riding horses and incessantly splashing in water, but alas Hebe has been betrothed to Herc's slimy brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan).  In fact, these two tried to make a break for it, but alas they fail at that, and for his hubris this man not called Hercules is dispatched by the dude that's not his father on a doomed mission to nowhere in particular.
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Adventure is afoot for big Herc, though they are not necessarily Herculean adventures, or at least they aren't the ones I read about.  No, this Hercules has adventures that have to lead to Rome and gladiatorial battles, even though I think he's Greek… but whatever… he has to make it back home to stop the wedding of his betrothed and his awful brother.   And he can only do that by claiming his birthright as the Son of ZEUS!!!  And giving demotivating speeches.  I'm not looking for William Wallace styled oratory or anything, but jeez Herc, you gotta pep up these rah rah speeches up a bit.

Trying to figure out what went wrong with director Renny Harlin's version of Hercules is easy.  The more challenging part is trying to figure out what it did right.  Scott Adkins for one.  While we've always enjoyed Mr. Adkins work here at the FCU, we have had to admit that he is, at best, understated as an actor… until I saw him overact his ass off in this movie.  I'm not saying he acted particularly well, but my man went for it and it showed.  This also leads us to the unfortunate conclusion that Scott Adkins was the best actor in the movie, and cherish him as we do, this is not necessarily a good thing.  The movie was also pretty brief and there was action aplenty.  Those things all in itself at least made 'The Legend of Hercules' something I could watch without wanting to kill myself.

As far as what didn't go right, I'm thinking one of the first mistakes it made was actually calling this movie 'Hercules'.  You see Hercules has a pretty well-known history and story arc so maybe one should at least try to stick to just a little bit of that.  If they had called this movie 'Muscly dude beats up people', then we wouldn't have had these minor expectations, but they didn't call it that.  Hercules did battle the fabled Nemean Lion… choked it out like they were in the octagon… but unfortunately the CGI lion looked way worse than the animatronic Lion that showed up in Jumani twenty years ago.  We've come so far… And also director Harlin figured the best way to make his movie was to check out '300' and just roll with that general look, though the only look he seem to settle on was the slo-mo.  So much slo-mo.  No blood splatter or nudity but lots and lots of slow-mo of no blood or nudity.  Blood splatter and nudity wouldn't have made this movie better, but it would've made it more memorable.

We could also lay a lot the blame on young Mr. Lutz, and he was no shining star in this movie, showing about as much charisma as a turnip, but the poor man was saddled with some pretty lousy dialog in this one.  Besides, I've seen much better use of this man's particular gifts such as in the movie 'Arena', which is similar to this one in that it also has a muscly dude beating people up, but they didn't make the mistake of calling it Hercules.  And it had titties and blood splatter. Thus I remember it better.
So if you want to see my main man Scott Adkins overact or watch a muscly dude choke out a stuffed Lion, then here it is.  Otherwise, jump in a time machine and check out Lou Ferrigno's version of Hercules which is way worse than this one, but way funnier. 
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