Hello, Spongey here.
Well, it’s that time once again. It is time to review a poorly received 2014 movie. Divergent doesn’t count. I’m talking about your Jack and Jill’s and Movie 43’s. Yeah, this might be that kind of review.
But since it’s not a Comedy, it might not be. Either way, let’s talk about this thing. This is one of those January movies that I just didn’t care about. I figured it would be some dull film that would come out and no fucks would be given.
I was wrong. It didn’t really top all the worst lists (Thank you, Left Behind) but it was still called one of the worst things ever, by a lot of Critics all over the internet. So of course I couldn’t wait to watch.
Honestly, if i had it my way, I’d have done it a while ago. But here we are, talking about it. As usual, certain things will be mentioned in the review so there won’t be a ton to cover. When it comes to Hercules, I know the following:
Decent Disney Movie
Weird movie with the Rock that came out the same year.
He went to New York than became a big action star.
Weird games JonTron talked about once.
So yeah, any feelings I have will come from how bad the movie itself is more than anything else. Our humble director is Renny Harlin, who’s done way too many movies. A majority of them don’t sound good, and I hear he isn’t too good anymore. But…Die hard 2. Suck it.
With our 4 (sigh) writers, not only do we have the director, but we also…nobodies who have nothing. Yay.
Sounds like a recipe for an amazing movie, right? So without further ado, let’s dive into a movie I hope isn’t as bad as some people say.
This, is The Legend of Hercules
The movie opens in Ancient Greece, 1200 BC as The Asylum’s version of 300 is being filmed. Actually, from fake everything is, it might as well be Meet the Spartans. Actually, King Amphitryon of Tires, played by Scott Adkins, is invading the shores of Argos.
Instead of a flat out war, Scott Adkins and King Galenus fight to the death. Through the power of slow motion, Amphitryon easily kicks his ass. Laughably easily, honestly. After that, he goes to his wife, who isn’t happy because of reasons I don’t care about.
She goes to her tent and talks to her royal adviser, Chiron. He’s a human for some reason. Wow, one of the few things I knew about this stuff was botched. I’m sure there’s worse mistakes that I will be missing.
After their chat, she goes to a statue of Hera and cries about how evil her husband is. Then Hera just kind of…shows up and tells her that she will bear the son of Zeus.
That’s…random. She’s just like “bitch, you gonna be preggo” for pretty much no reason. I’m sure this is what kind of happened but in this context, it’s weird.
Also, someone comes and tells someone they will give birth to the son of a god and he will be their savor? That’s new!
Unlike that other story, we get to to see it happen. As in, that night a weird force comes in and she starts um…making sounds and movie. Not only is that very silly, but this movie is PG-13 and it has a brutal (but bloodless) death and a very rape-y scene.
I just got through a shockingly violent PG-13 movie, don’t do this to me guys.
Anyway, Amphitryon happens to be hanging around and he gets angry when he sees this because he think she is cheating on him. He swings his sword around and…it cuts to 9 months later as the son is born.
….So I’m gonna assuming NOTHING happened after he found out his wife got screwed by Zeus? Seriously?! He didn’t get angry and try to do something about this? He just lets it happen and tells his new kid he sucks?
Besides the logic problems, it just cut to this right as he’s being angry. There’s no transition, or explanation to what happened. It just cuts. Good editing, what’s that?!
Whatever, I can deal with it as long as it doesn’t that again-and it does it again as it cuts to TWENTY years later as Hercules is all grown up and played by some guy who was in Twilight.
This movie is called the Legend of Hercules. You think that would mean they slowly show his progression from normal person to strong legend. Instead, it just skips the “boring” parts to get to what the writers think is important.
Even the Disney one got this right!
We see him hanging out with his love interest, Hebe. And yes, since this guy was in Twilight, he takes off his shirt as he goes swimming with her. She gives an important Necklace that came from her dead mother. Of course her Mom is dead. They try to get us to care about these two in this one scene which would be cool if we….knew anything about these two.
This scene feels like it would be super important it we had a better introduction to them just than them swimming and sharing jewelry. Anyway, they are found by Hercules’ brother, as a search party was sent out for Hebe.
“It’s lucky you knew where to find us”
She would be great at Cinema Sins.
Hebe is taken back home and we …abruptly cut to that night. By that I mean the world’s worst day for night shot. They are hanging out for some reason as they are attacked by a lion. Instead of throwing it into space or something, Hercules just chocks the bitch to death.
They head home with the skin of the lion, and the brother takes all the credit. Not only does he do that, but he goes out to his way to make Hercules look bad. What a dick.
Then Amphitryon announces that the brother and Hebe are going to be married. Does anything happen in this in a natural way?! She and Hercules immediately run away which is hilarious.
“Would you enlighten me on what just happened?”
Glad we’re on the same page.
Then once again, it just cuts to the next morning as the king’s men are chasing them down. Either they waited way too long to chase after them for some reason, or they have been chasing them for this damn long. Either one is stupid and it would be less stupid with TRANSITIONS.
Anyway, Hebe falls into a lake and almost drowns and while Herc saves her, they are captured and taken back to the King.
Instead of truly punishing Hercules, they just kind of forget about all this and tell him he must join a campaign of Soldiers to Egypt. Yeah, he hurts the brothers and he in turn says if Herc comes back, he’s dead but come on.
Amphitryon planned the ambush in hopes of killing Hercules. Uh…wouldn’t it be easier to just…do it without sacrificing over 60 of your men for now reason? If you didn’t want anyone to know you killed him, have someone kill him in his sleep and just cover it up!
Wait, why am I helping a bad guy?
Of course, they force him to be a Gladiator and put Hercules into a fighting arena thing. Meanwhile, Hercules is presumed dead, and Mom tells Amphitryon that Zeus knocked her up and Hercules is their savior. Wait, you didn’t tell him how you even got knocked up? That raises even more questions than before!
Anyway he kills her, as you would expect. Back with Herc, he and Sotiris (that other guy) convince the promoter to send them to Greece in order to fight in an arena battle in which two gladiators fight six undefeated gladiators. Before he can make the deal, they must fight two dudes.
They win but Sotiris is injured. So our hero is sent instead to fight 6 guys on his own. Normally I’d say he’s dead but given how damn perfect he is, he might not even break a sweat.
Yeah, this is one of the films where all the tension is sucked away thanks to a boring invincible hero. The poorly directed fight scenes with too much slow motion don’t help. Still better than Getaway though. I mean, I can see what’s going on.
And oh hey, he wins easily. What a shock.
Chiron pops up, because he somehow found out exactly where the sellers took him to, and tells him about his Mom. As you might expect, he’s not happy. In the meantime, Sotiris and Hercules seek refuge in the home of the human vessel of Hera. Isn’t that convenient.
She tells him to fulfil his destiny and go kill Daddy. He reacts with passion, and by passion I made the same expression he’s had all movie. As a side note, him becoming a slave wasn’t really a problem for him.
He easily overcame that and won all the fights. He learned nothing from it. In other words, it was just a minor inconvenience on the way to fighting Dad. Thus, once again a major shift in the story is poorly handled and stupid. What a shock.
Chiron uses his weird powers of the plot to jump back home and take Hebe over to Herc for some lovin’. I’m so glad the most boring couple this side of Bella and Edward got back together. The evil meanie king finds that Hercules is alive, so he has some of men track them down and it doesn’t take long for them to do so.
Herc’s brother happens to be one of those men, and he’s more than a little shocked to see him alive, much less the savior who has been causing the king so much trouble.
Hercules is taken into town and whipped like a naughty boy ….Forget I said that.
The King continues to scream his lines, and he orders the brother’s whose name I can’t spell to kill Chiron. Oh no he was such an important character. In the face of this, Hercules yells to his God Daddy to give him strength.
CONAN/ARNIE: And if you don’t, than to hell with you!
Sorry, I had to.
And of course this works. He turns on God Mode (literally) and uses it to escape and kick lots of ass. Glad to see his problem was solved by calling on his Daddy and not his own inner strength or anything. Why should I care about this guy again?
I’ll say this: The slow motion actually works in this part…at this, then it gets overused and chunks of a pillar fly towards the screen because 3D. This director has been making films for 30 years, right?
Amphitryon and Iphicles (the brother) escape like little girls, and our heroes get ready to storm the Palace to face the final boss. They do so and Herc challenges the king to a battle, much like in the opening scene.
He rejects his offer, and Hercules’ sword is struck by lightning and he uses his lightning sword to kill all the soldiers. Okay. This is getting fucking ridiculous. I know he’s the son of Zeus, but this is beyond over powered!
Herc storms in and finally faces his evil father.
“Come at me boy!”
Since the lightning sword stopped working (It’s almost like it was pointless) they fight the old fashioned way: With slow motion! Just when it seems Hercules has the upper hand, the brother shows up with Hebe, threatening to kill her. Guys, we have plenty of conflict with a Demi God fighting an evil king, we don’t need this to make things bigger.
Hebe stabs the brother but ends up stabbing herself as well, falling down. If she’s gonna do dome stuff like that, I really don’t see why I should care about her dying. Hercules just kind of ignore this, as the fight with the king rages on.
Eventually, Herc grabs his sword and…stabs the ground next to the king…and then he gets a dagger and kills him. Because…it’s more personal?
Herc consoles Hebe so they can exchange overly dramatic love speeches. By the way, the change from fighting, to the brother’s threats, to fighting,, to this is very rushed. Yeah I know, rushed editing in this movie, what a shock!
Speaking of which, we cut to many months later, as Hebe gives birth. …She survived that? Seriously?! I’ve bought a lot of bullshit from this movie, but this crosses the line. They played up her dumb death so much only for it to be pointless?!
Fuck it, we’re almost done with this thing. We get overly dramatic love poses between the two as the new baby is born. Then it cuts to Hercules watching over his new kingdom, happy he took down the king with no effort at all, complete with “epic” music and a pan shot.
Roll credits. With how this movie is paced, I would be bitching if there WASN’T a terrible abrupt ending. By the way, the credits only mention 2 writers. You have to suck pretty hard to be left out of the credits of this movie.
Allow me to quote Martial Horror.
“The Legend of Hercules sucks. Don’t watch it”
Yeah, that about sums it up.
It’s far from the worst thing I’ve seen on her, but it’s still pretty bad. I’m not sure if it’s the worst Hercules movie ever (I’ve yet to see Hercules in New York or the really obscure 1988 animated one. Yes, really) but it gets a lot wrong.
The reason I say it’s better than a few others, is that sometimes it just bored me and I wasn’t tortured a lot of the time. To focus on the positives, some of the action is cool and they clearly tried to make something big in scale. Plus, Scott Adkins is very enjoyable as the villain. The problem is they used their budget very poorly.
You’d have to watch some clips to get (or Cinematic Excrement’s review) but this looks like an Asylum film sometimes. The sets look very cheap and the effects are anything but special. This seriously costs 70 million?
This effects the action scenes, which have too much slow motion and wire jumping to look real or exciting. There are a lot of other problems I can pick on, like how it butchers the source material, the insane amount of clichés in the story, or the mediocre acting.
But my biggest problem lies within the characters. It’s not that they are annoying or the worst, but my Zeus, they are so freaking BORING. Hebe is a really dull love interest who does nothing of her own, the brother is just a dick for no reason, Chiron is useless, that other guy is even more useless, and the villain is evil to be evil.
But easily the worst is Hercules himself. Look, I don’t need my hero to be amazingly complex or anything like, especially in a dumb action movie like this. But he still needs to be able stand up as a hero worth rooting for. Action is nothing if you don’t care about the characters.
I don’t care about Hercules in this movie. Besides the actor being very stiff and having no chemistry with his co-stars, he is a terrible lead. Why? Like I said, he’s way too overpowered. At no point does he ever seem to struggle with anything. Sure, he has Daddy issues and stuff with romance, but when he is ever face with a challenge he overcomes it very easily.
At no point does he ever learn or grow. He starts out as a perfect spray tanned man, and simply gets stronger as the plot demands. We never see him train or do anything to earn any of this. He doesn’t show compassion for anyone but Hebe and did I mention he’s boring?
I could tolerate him not learning anything if he was in any likable or heroic. He isn’t, he just sucks.
Oh, and I did mention the horrible editing and pacing? There is no transition in this movie, so every time something major happens, like a passing of time, it is very poorly handled to the point that there are plot holes.
Plot holes should not be caused by simply CUTTING TO THE NEXT SCENE. It feels like scenes are missing half the time! It becomes less of a problem in the 2nd half, but the ending brings it all back.
So yeah, it may not be the hardest film to get through, but all these critical problems make it a bad film. It’s poorly made, poorly written, boring, and just plain bad. Some of these issues can make enjoyable bad, but it’s far too dull to be even good on that level.
It’s as bad as something like Getaway but it’s still a bad movie. All I can say is…The Rock one has to be better.
Next time…well take a look what date next Wednesday falls on.