In the latest retelling of the Greek mythological story of Hercules, Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) conceives the son of Zeus after the goddess Hera assures the queen that Hercules (Kellan Lutz) will bring an end to the evil reign of King Amphitryon of Tires (Scott Adkins), the queen’s power-hungry husband. When Hercules falls in love with Hebe (Gaia Weiss), King Amphitryon seeks revenge on his stepson by arranging for Hercules’ brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) to marry Hebe. After the lovers attempt to escape their ill fate, Hercules is exiled by the king and sold into slavery. During this time he begins to realise the full extent of his immortal powers which he then uses to overthrow the king and restore order to his kingdom.
With a great tale like Hercules there’s so much potential to create an amazing film as the plot line is practically flawless as far epic stories go. However, The Legend of Hercules is a massive let down and its poor computer graphics and terrible acting are to blame. From the very first scene the camera drags the audience through a catastrophe of computer generated imagery. Crumbling buildings, lashings of fire, thousands of men marching in rows to battle – it sounds like a scene out of an ancient Greek war story but it looks so unbelievably fake. Every battle scene, panning landscape shot and set interior bears the burden of a budget that couldn’t bring the director’s vision to life. The climactic point in the film, in which Hercules summons the power of Zeus and turns his sword into a lightsaber-esque lightening rod that kills thousands with each arced swoop, is another visual letdown. The whole film looks cheap and fake and this takes away from the action and story.
However the biggest let down of the film, perhaps more so than the visuals, is the acting. Each line is delivered in a way that is so insufferably cringeworthy it’s difficult to sit through the entire film without squirming. The script itself wasn’t so bad but its delivery is shocking, with each line spoken without conviction and in the corniest of ways. The fight scenes are also over acted, highly stylised and poorly executed. Their reality is taken away from by a serious lack of blood and gore. Whenever anyone is punched, bludgeoned or stabbed they fall to the ground with skin and bone perfectly in tact, as though the make up department has forgotten that people bleed.
The Legend of Hercules has a good story line which makes it somewhat bearable to watch but the poor acting, terrible computer graphics and over the top fight scenes take away from this epic story’s opportunity to be truly epic.
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