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The Legend of Hercules

9/10
Action . Adventure . Fantasy
 

In Ancient Greece 1200 B.C., a queen succumbs to the lust of Zeus to bear a son promised to overthrow the tyrannical rule of the king and restore peace to a land in hardship. But this prince, Hercules, knows nothing of his real identity or his destiny. He desires only one thing: the love of Hebe, Princess of Crete, who has been promised to his own brother. When Hercules learns of his greater purpose, he must choose: to flee with his true love or to fulfill his destiny and become the true hero of his time. The story behind one of the greatest myths is revealed in this action-packed epic - a tale of love, sacrifice and the strength of the human spirit.

 
Actors: Luke Newberry , Johnathon Schaech , Rade Šerbedžija , Jukka Hilden , Liam Garrigan , Roxanne McKee , Scott Adkins , Gaia Weiss , Liam McIntyre , Kellan Lutz
Directors: Renny Harlin
Country: USA
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Scott Bowles
USA Today

There's a fun retro camp to Hercules, with nods to classics such as Ben-Hur and Spartacus, as Hercules finds himself rowing slave ships and crossing desert expanses.


William Goss
Empire

The action comes thick and fast but the storyline is generic and Lutz makes a particularly dull hero. An Erymanthian bore.


Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice

Renny Harlin's Legend of Hercules fulfills every silly, flimsy promise that it makes in the first place: There are lots of battles (albeit rather jerkily rendered ones), some grand-looking horses decked out in handsome metal headdresses, and lots of well-oiled beefcake.


A.O. Scott
The New York Times

This movie, with its relatively modest running time and not-quite-household-name cast, is no more ridiculous than, let’s say, the “Thor” movies, and a lot less pretentious.


Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine (Vulture)

Like so many of today’s action films, The Legend of Hercules is too busy peddling slick, stone-faced portent to ever bother making us laugh, or engaging us in any way.


Matt Patches
Film.com

While the art of action filmmaking depreciates, Harlin remains steadfast in his classicism, even if the movie doesn’t have the foundation to support him.


Susan Wloszczyna
RogerEbert.com

While Lutz might possess the beefcake to fill out his chest armor, he lacks the acting chops to make us much care about the fate of his gleaming hero who looks as if he just stepped out of a Beverly Hills salon.


Kenji Fujishima
Slant Magazine

Given its virtuous subject matter and the relative bloodlessness of its violence, perhaps Renny Harlin means for this film to be a means of atoning for his previous cinematic sins.


Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

At times, with its stiff, charisma-impaired cast, its digital sets and slo-mo slaughter, The Legend of Hercules has a whiff of the Augean Stables about it — if you catch my drift.


Scott Foundas
Variety

Lutz’s acting muscles aren’t nearly as well developed as his pectorals and deltoids, and while the role may not call for a master thespian, it at least begs someone who can emote without looking like he’s straining to execute a dead lift.


Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
The A.V. Club

While The Legend Of Hercules offers plenty for viewers who’ve acquired a taste for the fake and incompetent (not the least of which is the dialogue, which finds characters saying each other’s names at the end of every other sentence), it’s unlikely to please anyone who wants entertainment in the conventional sense.


Louis Black
Austin Chronicle

While watching it, I kept thinking this was like "47 Ronin," in which an unfortunate novice director was given a project way out of his or her reach. In no way was I prepared to learn it was the work of veteran Harlin.


Martin Tsai
Los Angeles Times

If you admire Kellan Lutz's chiseled body, The Legend of Hercules does offer plenty of that in 3-D glory.


Keith Phipps
The Dissolve

Where 300 made a virtue of its low budget by stripping the visuals down to their essential elements, the shot-in-Bulgaria Legend Of Hercules mostly just looks rushed and cheap, only coming to life in a handful of fight scenes, and then only briefly.


Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter

If The Legend of Hercules were just a little more inept or over-the-top, it might have been ridiculous fun. As it is, unfortunately, Harlin embraces the mediocrity of the screenplay with a dour straight face, draining it of any enjoyably camp possibilities.


Drew Taylor
The Playlist

A movie so ugly and woeful that you'll wish you had superhuman strength to pluck your own eyeballs out of your head.


Stephanie Merry
Washington Post

The only thing epic about The Legend of Hercules is what a failure it is.


Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic

The whole thing is a total bore; even the supporting players aren’t motivated enough to attract attention. That’s good news for Lutz; he can’t be blamed for torpedoing the project, because everyone is doing subpar work here.


Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

This ludicrously written, buffoonishly acted, irritatingly filmed sword-and-sandals epic hasn't half the sand, sweat or saltiness of other titles in the genre.


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