Friday, 4 April 2014



Whatever happened to Renny Harlin? Even after his voyage into found footage with The Dyatlov Pass Incident, you should really expect better than this arrant tosh. It isn't just a massive comedown from the big splashy action mayhem of Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight, it's a comedown from the likes of DTV fare like Mindhunters and The Cleaner. Okay, I know once your career has been so thoroughly eviscerated by the failure of Cutthroat Island (which isn't actually a bad film, but still one of the great box-office catastrophes of all time) then it may be tough to get the large-scale projects afterwards, but even so the presence of "Directed by Renny Harlin" in the credits of what is basically a knock-off of 300 and Wrath Of The Titans is the only real surprise in the whole film.

Scott Adkins is the evil king whose endless thirst for conquest leads his queen to pray to the gods for help: Zeus responds by giving her a demigod son, Hercules (Kellan Lutz). Twenty years later, and the evil king marries off Herc's beloved Princess Hebe to Herc's evil brother, and sends Hercules on a suicide mission to Egypt. But luckily he's spared, sold into gladiatorial slavery and makes his way back to Greece to take back the throne and his bride....

Much of the plot of The Legend Of Hercules (the first of two Hercules movies this year) is basically Gladiator with visual nods to the 300 films (Scott Adkins seems almost to be channelling Gerard Butler's iconic performance as Shouty Fighty Maniac With Beard) and the cardboard silliness of Clash/Wrath Of The Titans, only somehow not as good as any of them. In fact it's barely on the level of Tarsem Singh's Immortals, though in its favour it's probably slightly better than Marcus Nispel's pointless Conan remake. It's not outright boring: it's watchable enough while it's on, and Kellan Lutz looks the part. But you should expect more from Renny Harlin. Thoroughly mediocre.


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