The Legend of Hercules review


“The Legend of Hercules,” based on the Greek myth of Hercules, was released on Jan. 10 and took a less traditional approach to the myth. This was a positive change because it gave a new angle to an old story, making it more interesting to the audience.

This movie is centered on the son of Zeus and human Queen Alcmene. After Alcmene has the baby, King Amphitryon names the child Alcides. However, Amphitryon declares Alcides will never be equal to his older brother Iphicles as Amphitryon suspects Alcides is not his child. Alcmene secretly declares that the child is really Hercules, as Hera told Alcmene she would always know Alcides as Hercules.

The plot is loosely based around the actual Greek myth when Alcides/Hercules is thrown into slavery after mercenaries in Egypt capture him. Alcides has to fight his way back to his kingdom in battles that mimic the trials of Hercules. Throughout the movie, Alcides’ mission is to save Hebe, princess of Crete, from a marriage to his brother Iphicles.

During this movie, actor Kellan Lutz, who plays Hercules, offers a mostly substandard performance. His emotions rarely seem realistic and during the movie, his expressions often show him smirking when he should be upset. Those scenes were confusing because all the other actors were serious while Lutz’s character appeared to take everything as a joke. Lutz tends to use acts of physical prowess to show his character, rather than the intelligence the movie tries to portray. Lutz interprets Hercules as a character who only relies on his strength and his interpretations, causing other aspects of the character to take a back seat. While Lutz seems unable to portray sorrow, his performance is perfect in the more light-hearted scenes with Hebe. This allowed the audience to see the real depth of the relationship between Hebe and Alcides.

The star performances in this movie were by Roxanne McKee and Gaia Weiss, playing Alcmene and Hebe. McKee personifies an unhappy Queen whose kingdom is constantly shaken by war. She perfects her actions towards both her sons, showing Iphicles how disappointed she is with him and then turning to praise Hercules. McKee’s portrayal of her character let the audience see how important the kingdom is to Alcmene. Her actions toward Iphicles are harsh but show the audience she is really trying to make him a better person.

Weiss takes the typical damsel in distress role and changes it into a stronger female role. She stands up for herself and does not let Hercules’ absence force her into marriage. Weiss has perfect reactions in general and displays a great aptitude for a character that changes throughout the story. For example, when Iphicles comes to her to discuss their marriage, she at first treats him respectfully, but as his insolence grows, hers does as well. This allowed the audience to see her strong willpower and that she will never accept a marriage she does not want.

The action scenes are plentiful and with the use of Greek maneuvers, the actors move seamlessly in group fights. However, in many of the one-on-one fights, the actors’ movements suddenly start to become stiff and overly choreographed. Slow motion is used a lot in the action scenes, and it takes away from the movie by ruining the flow. The lighting is tailored to the mood of the scenes allowing the audience to understand and feel the mood easily. It also adds a new level of depth to the scenery.

“The Legend of Hercules” appeals to both people who prefer the original story and those who desire a change in plotline, as the movie keeps the major aspects but also adds new elements to the plot. While Lutz’s performance takes away from the movie, the plotline is thick and the plot twists are amazing. The superb performances by Weiss and McKee make this a must-see movie to start the year.