Monday, January 20, 2014

Legend of Hercules: A Legendary Fail

New take on a classic character leaves a lot to be desired


ARTH VADER (AV): Not sure what part of this film claims to be faithful to the ancient tale of Hercules, the human son of the Greek God Zeus but this movie, for all its flaws does try to make a case for Hercules' humanity. By having him not only be completely in the dark about his heritage, Herc renounces his Dad (Zeus) as an absentee Father. Pontificator, I must say, I wanted to buy what this movie was selling but there was nothing (and no one) to get behind in this film. As for the characterizations of this film—how does 'unwatchable' grab you? 

THE PONTIFICATOR (TP): It grabs me just fine Vader. There are many stories of Hercules, some that come from the classic mythology, some that don’t, and some that mix a little in while telling their own tale. This film is one of the latter as the only part taken from classic mythology was the killing of the Namean Lion…and the only part accurate was the lion itself, not the circumstances surrounding the encounter.


AV: The opening segments of this film starred a conquest-minded King Amphitryon (played squarely by Scott "Zero Dark Thirty" Adkins ) were not bad at all, right? I mean, we've seen these giant, re-cap war montages before in Lord of The Rings movies, Troy and 300 to name only a few and this was well done. But the casting of Kellan "Hey is this another Twilight film?" Lutz in the role of Hercules, was just… what the hell?!  Who green-lighted this? Do the people who even cast movies go see them? My God in heaven, what were they thinking? Kellan, who has little screen presence, appeared as far from the ideal of a young Hercules as one could get. His vapid, one-dimensional acting was as fake as his tan and to quote Hamlet (if I may) "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark." if you think that's all it takes to portray Hercules. 

TP: This is where the pain begins Vader. Casting was as disastrous as the acting. King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) spends the entire film angry and yelling. Gaia Weiss is so new and inexperienced that she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Hercules (Kellen Lutz) is never once believable, and probably should never stop doing Twilight films. The only person worth seeing that does a decent job is Liam McIntyre (Spartacus of Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned). You know things are bad when a supporting role is the best part of the film. 


AV: There were no notable effects in this film. Now, I'm sure that many of the sweeping cityscapes in the wide angle and panoramic shots were all CGI as well as the blue-fire whip and the lightening zooming down from the heavens when he cries out "Father I believe in you!" (what?). And you can't forget the crazy and bizarre all-CGI lion Herc fights near the start of the film (huh?). One would think that a movie like this–given the state of VF/X these days–would have more need or use for visual effects. But you would be wrong, Ponty. Very, very wrong.

TP: This is where the pain continues Vader. The CGI is absolutely horrible, at least ten years behind what is being used in film today. The costumes are laughable, best taken back to whatever Broadway play they were stolen from. I have never seen a more liberal use of slow motion action sequences in my life. There was slow motion in some scenes that weren’t even combat oriented…just slow motion, just because. There was even one scene where the scenery is clearly on a scrolling screen to simulate movement. I mean…really??? There should be some sort of quality assurance process before something like this makes it to the silver screen. Seriously.


AV: This movie is so bad it actually held a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Given that was ALL reviewers (since on opening day no one else had seen it yet) that tells you that us snooty reviewers hated it. As for me, Ponty, there were moments when I had a good time with this film. No it’s true! I'm able, most of the time, to shut off my brain entirely and just watch a movie. Now how on Earth this movie cost $70 million to make is far beyond my meager understanding of Hollywood movie production. An epic fail in the opportunity column as this film does little-to-nothing to embrace the viewer and give them something to connect with. Even the ex-Twilight heartthrob couldn’t even bring a handful of teen girls in to see his rippling muscles tear down columns of granite and steel. 

TP: This is where I explain the pain, where I explain why my eyes were bleeding Vader. What I can’t explain is how a film, seemingly made from the budget of a week’s pay of a supermarket cashier, made it to any theater. The acting was as ridiculous as the story and the effects, which were neither special or effective. It’s probably easier for me to explain what was right about this film: The opening fight scene, and the fight scene between Hercules and the six Greek champions. Other than watching Liam McIntyre lower himself from cable television, that was it. This is a shining example that Hollywood has no shame. 


AV: Ten minutes after leaving the theater I would have forgotten this movie entirely, if it weren't for this blog. I would not think this movie would have left the hands of the distribution people but here we are reviewing. Unless there are scores of producers in Hollywood with untold millions to toss away, I can’t envision a world where a sequel to this train wreck is made. And to those  millionaires looking to recklessly throw away millions, please contact us through this blog. We need to sit and chat, because we have story ideas that will blow your mind (and your budget!). You’re up, old friend…

TP: This will be where the pain will become torture Vader. If they even think about a sequel, it will be the clearest indication ever, that Hollywood hates us and takes some sort of sadistic pleasure from our screams of agony. Just to echo, millionaires looking for great movie ideas…contact us, great ideas is what we do. Really.


ARTH VADER rates The Legend of Hercules: It’s too early in the year to give this movie a bomb of the year nod but there is no way in good conscience I would or could recommend this movie to anyone. While I did enjoy parts of this movie, there are far better ways to spend the cost of a movie ticket. Give it to the homeless or buy a book, hand it out to a kid on the street or even just see a different movie. This movie busted two (2) cement blocks (somehow!) and lets us never speak of it again.

THE PONTIFICATOR rates The Legend of Hercules: This film is horrible and busted a block for every high point it had: two fight scenes worth watching and showing why Liam McIntyre has his own series. That’s a total of only three (3) busted blocks…and I’m being generous! 

The Legend of Hercules: 2.5 Busted Blocks

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