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Movie Beat: Renny Harlin's "The Legend of Hercules" a tower of mediocre cheese
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Jan 11, 2014 | 2662 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment
Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment
slideshow
Rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and some sexuality

Written by Daniel Giat, Renny Harlin and more

Directed by Renny Harlin

Starring Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Liam McIntyre and more

Grade: 

It's the kind of movie that makes you wish you were watching a better one.

"The Legend of Hercules" is a bad copy of any number of far superior movies and TV shows, stuffed with enough cheese to make it dangerous to the lactose intolerant. The movie is such a tower of mediocrity that it dreams of being "Clash of the Titans" when it grows up (either the original or remake, depending on which you think is the inferior one).

For fans of actual Greek myths, there's some comfort in the fact that barely a ghost of the original Hercules myth shows up in the movie. Instead, the basic look was stolen from "300," the slow-motion fight scenes were lifted from the Starz TV series "Spartacus," and an entire villain was stolen from "Gladiator." They also felt the need to throw in the brother dynamic from "Thor," though the two actors involved here aren't nearly as interesting or well-spoken.

Watching any of the aforementioned films would be a better way to spend an hour and a half of your life, and will offer the advantage of being able to skip the romantic subplot in "Hercules." It's not quite as annoying as "Twilight" (the movie "Hercules" star Kellan Lutz is most well known for, by the way), but that can also be said of most dentist appointments.

You'll also avoid the near-constant deluge of melodramatic nonsense found in "Hercules.". If you're not, you might want to hang around long enough to sink your teeth into some particularly over-the-top gems including the One Lone Tear and the Hug of Death (you can practically hear the capital letters as you watch the scenes).

As Hercules, Lutz delivers the kind of performance we've come to expect out of him from "Twilight." He's mostly there to show off gleaming pectoral muscles, which he does well, though he's apparently not great at complicated facial expressions. Gaia Weiss has a couple of good scenes as his lady love, Hebe, while Liam Garrigan shows a few moments of genuine vulnerability in between his Joaquin Phoenix impression. As his father, Scott Adkins is mostly there to shout at people, while Jonathan Schaech is just happy he's working.

Then there's Liam McIntyre, who fills the traditional sacrificial role of the actor too good to be stuck in this movie. Fans of "Spartacus" will recognize him as the lead character during the last two seasons, and in "Hercules" he delivers his terrible lines with enough emotion and conviction to nearly make it seem like real dialogue.

Hopefully, the gods will smile on him and grant him a role in a better movie than this one.
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