Main cast: Kellan Lutz (Alcides/Hercules), Gaia Weiss (Hebe), Scott Adkins (King Amphitryon), Roxanne McKee (Queen Alcmene), Liam Garrigan (Iphicles), Liam McIntyre (Sotiris), Rade Šerbedžija (Chiron), and Johnathon Schaech (Tarak)
Director: Renny Harlin
Okay, let’s all be honest here: nobody watches The Legend of Hercules expecting a work of art. The two main leads are played by actors who are best known for grunting and glowering at the screen instead of uttering lines like a smooth thespian, so it’s all about punching and kicking while baring one’s well-sculpted chest and thighs for the wholesome purpose of sexual objectification. Looking at it in that perspective, this movie isn’t as bad as it could have been.
That’s not to say that this movie is a cult classic in the making. The plot is pretty silly, for a start.
We start off with King Amphitryon, played by B-grade action movie staple Scott Adkins who look better with facial hair than without, taking down the ruler of Argos in a “winner takes all” duel. He does this to stop more killing and, of course, to make victory fall onto his lap faster. However, the first moment he’s on screen, Amphitryon gives this impression of a cunning leader who would miminize the cost of his wars if he could, so it is a whiplash of sorts when his wife, Alcmene, starts ranting about what a tyrant he is because he wants to rule instead of, I don’t knowing, growing flowers and sniffing the posies, I suppose. You’d think a queen would appreciate having a strong husband to expand and keep the kingdom stable, but no.
So she decides to let Zeus do that invisible sex thing with her, and in the process, it is revealed that she withholds sexual favors from her husband all this while. Basically, we have this hormonal crazy queen who cheats on her husband because she doesn’t like her husband doing what a king does in his time. What a twat. Amphitryon already has a son, so he is not amused when he first catches his queen in throes of invisible-adulterous-god-induced orgasm, and he is even less amused when the queen pops out a brat later. He wants to name the kid Alcides, but Mommy Dearest insists that he’d be named Hercules because Zeus’s invisible penis declares thus.
Poor Hercules, therefore, doesn’t have a chance. He grows up with his brother, the pansy Iphicles, hating him because, despite being the heir, Iphicles is hated by his mother for being, well, not Hercules. Amphitryon favors Iphicles, but constantly berates the poor guy for not being macho and manly enough, so the poor guy knows that his father secretly wishes Hercules to be his heir instead. And then Hercules ends up snogging Hebe, the princess that is supposed to be married off to Iphicles, and Hebe makes it clear to everyone that she prefers Hercules’s 36DD manboobs to Iphicles’s flat-chested embarrassment. Apart from Hebe and a crazy mother, nobody loves Hercules and the poor guy doesn’t even know why.
Amphitryon finally decides to send Hercules to die in Egypt, but Hercules and his superior, Sotiris, survive and end up doing some gladiator kung-fu to get themselves back in Greece, where they would then go from Maximus’s Revenge to Robin Hood like this movie is a long Abercrombie and Fitch commercial modeled after a Ridley Scott historical opus. Yes, gladiatorial rings in Greece, but then again, why not? We have a hero who fights like Kratos on crack. The Zeus angle may as well not be there, and in fact, given how Zeus shows up every time all seems lost to give Hercules super power and let him turn into a Power Ranger with a lightning sword, the movie is better off without that paranormal angle as it makes the movie more of a cartoon than it already is.
But does it matter if the plot is horrible and the acting is less than impressive? Kellan Lutz is a bit too muscled-up for my liking, but he sure plays the beefcake role prettily enough. Scott Adkins is so easy on the eyes, and so is Liam McIntyre, who clearly doesn’t mind getting typecast for the sake of bringing on the pretty. Gaia Weiss serves the role of eye candy for people who like watching the ladies adequately, although since this is a family-friendly movie, the guys show far more skin as they chop, behead, and disembowel their enemies. The guys also rub their bare, sweaty, grimy skin against one another far more that they touch the ladies as well. Violence and near-naked sweaty hot guys – what’s not to love? Oh, and one can serve family-sized meals on Kellan Lutz’s nipples, I tell you.
The Legend of Hercules, at the end of the day, isn’t good. But if you are just looking to admire the scenery in HD while giving your brain a rest after a hard day’s work, does it really matter if everything else about this movie is not up to par? Here are the hot boys, people, come and get them.