Trailer Tuesday: The Legend of Hercules

First things first, let's make this clear: The Legend of Hercules is not to be confused with this upcoming The Rock starrer, also centred on the mightiest hero of Ancient Greek mythology.

The Legend of Hercules stars Kellan Lutz, who is probably best known for playing brainless beefcake vampire Emmet Cullen in The Twilight Saga. Lutz has sadly never demonstrated a shred of acting ability nor charisma, and his work as Hercules appears to be no different (I mean, look at his dumb jock facial expression, LOOK AT IT!)

Ugh, I'll give credit to The Legend of Hercules for the fact that it was actually shot for 3D, as opposed to being a post-production conversion. The movie makes a visual impact in this regard and I was certainly dazzled by the format's use when I saw the trailer on the big screen. However, it is the only positive about this action fantasy romance. Directed by Renny Harlin  - my, how the mighty have fallen - this film is a prime case of "No; just no, No, NO!" for Greek Mythology buffs.

Judging by the trailers, there is barely a speck of the Hercules (more accurately, Heracles) myth present. Instead, the demigod hero's tale has been twisted into a misguided amalgamation of Clash of the Titans, Spartacus, Gladiator and even the Samson story. Not one of the hero's far more interesting adventures and trials has been touched upon. *sigh*

In this very loose interpretation, Hercules has been raised as Alcides, the son of power-hungry King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins). Except, the young man is actually the result of an affair between his mother, Queen Alcmene and Zeus, the king of the Gods. Amphitryon works this out and essentially exiles Hercules so that he's out the way for the impending nuptials between Amphitryon's biological son and Hebe, the Princess of Crete - who's madly in love with Hercules, naturally. Cue a stint as a slave gladiator for Hercules, and then an inspirational military commander intent on deposing his tyrannical step-father. But only if he embraces his divine heritage. Blah blah blah...

The Legend of Hercules released back in the United States in early January, on my birthday in fact. With its cast of unknowns, and heavy use of CGI in the video game cutscene style (think of the quality circa 2000), the film was not well received - commercially or critically. It managed a grand score of 3% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers slammed The Legend of Hercules as cheap-looking, unimaginative, indifferent, and generally awful to the point of being laughable.

The film hits South African cinemas on 17 April. Beware.


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