Main cast: Scott Adkins (Dr Travis Preston), Lydia Leonard (Katie Langley), James Lance (Doug McConnel), Nathan Lee (Brandon Hua), Yi Huang (Dr Lan Zheng), Yang Caiyu (Bai Xi), Li Shengye (Wu Han), and Dolph Lundgren (Harker)
Director: Eric Styles
Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren are in this movie, but they don’t have any martial fight scenes at all, believe it or not. So why cast these two guys? Who knows what the movie people are thinking, as it’s not like anyone would want to hire those two if there wouldn’t be all kinds of fighting and explosions in a movie. Mr Adkins doesn’t even have a shirtless scene, just some carefully maintained stubble, so what a waste.
Mr Adkins is Dr Travis Preston, a cryptozoologist, while Mr Lundgren plays Harker, a big game hunter. Both men are rivals, because they are both after the same types of creatures, only Travis wants to keep them alive to be studied while Harker wants the heads of those creatures mounted as trophies on his wall. A recent excursion into Russia to seek a giant bear thing ended up with Harker antagonizing the bear after Travis had sedated it, and the bear shook off the tranquilizers and ended up killing Harker’s assistant. Naturally, Harker and the dead man’s family both proceed to sue Travis, and the poor man is reduced to sulking in his office, which has been relocated to what was previously a store room.
Travis is approached by lawyer Doug a while later, who intrigues Travis with the possibility of a giant lizard lurking in a big lake in China. The lizard has been terrorizing efforts to construct a dam in the area, and the management wants Travis to capture it and get it far away from there. Travis gathers his old team back, and head off to China – where we are subjected to scenes like white people in vehicles honking at the natives to move out of the way because these very important white people must be allowed to act like they own the place – only to find Harker there as well, waiting to kill that thing for fun. Who will get to the lizard thing first?
There is nothing legendary about Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon, which is a slightly more expensive equivalent of a SyFy movie. The monster CGIs are really fake, and the lizard thing looks more like a giant gecko than anything menacing. The acting is on the wooden side all around, but the script tries to inject some levity, which works to a certain degree if one keeps expectations super low. Mr Lundgren looks less wasted than usual, and Mr Adkins is easily one of the cuter martial arts dudes around. It’s really a shame his clothes stay on in this movie.
The script makes idiots out of everyone. The way the lizard thing gets in and out of the lake is pretty obvious just by looking at the available maps, but the smart guys take ages to figure that one out. Travis and his team have this cylinder thing that they intend to use to capture the lizard – the same one that they failed to use to capture the bear, and it’s clear that the cylinder thing is too small to put any of these creatures inside. Won’t a cage be easier to manage, anyway? The cylinder thing would probably roll around and cause the creature inside to get sick, no? Oh, and my favorite scene is the one where Doug is “attacked” by the lizard, and he has to escape… by jumping over a few missing planks of a pier to get back on land. I am at the edge of my seat watching that scene, I tell you. Also, if the monster is so big, how could it swim so close to the shore without being detected?
The only reason I watched this to the end was that I was hoping to see some guys kicking the crap out of one another. Alas, there is no such scene here, and I probably would have been better off spending my time doing something else, like watching Dora the Explorer reruns on the other channel.