From director Renny Harlin comes one of two 2014 movies about the mythological demi-god of ancient Greece – The Legend Of Hercules. Co-written by Harlin with Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve, and Sean Hood. The film stars Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, and Liam Garrigan.
The movie starts off with King Amphitryon invading a neighbouring kingdom and killing their king. In a battle scene that looks way too CGI-ish for my tastes (almost animation cartoon like) and very 300 like, the Amphitryon is victorious as he easily defeats Galenus and seizes his kingdom. He boasts to his estrange wife Queen Alcmene and she clearly dispises his lst for power & gold. She goes to pray to the goddess Hera and is visited by a woman, who the goddess has inhabited, and who prophesies that Zeus will visit Alcmene and impregnate her with a son who will end Amphitryon’s reign. The only witness to this exchange is Chiron, the queen’s loyal adviser. That night as the king celebrates with his men, Alcmene is visited by Zeus and he has sex with her. The king sees her in bed and believes she has taken a mortal lover but finds no one. Alcmene soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Alcides, but she secretly acknowledges his true name: Hercules.
Cut to 20 years later and Alcides is frolicking with his love, princess Hebe of Crete and is spied upon by his older brother Iphicles. The two young men on route to the palace are attacked by a large ferocious lion and Alcides wrestles with the lion, crushing it. As they reach the palace for a party Iphicles claims the credit and clings to the pelt of the lion and claims that Alcides had fled as a coward when the lion attacked them. At the banquet Amphitryon announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles, as he is annexing the kingdom of Crete. A shocked Hebe & Alcides try to run off together but they are caught by the guards and Alcides is sent away to Egypt on a campaign with other soldiers. It is then that Alcmene tells Alcides of his true lineage and the name Hercules. He however does not believe her and sets off to Egypt with the soldiers, under the the command of Captain Sotiris. In Egypt the Greeks are ambushed by a large group of enemy soldiers and in the fight all the Greeks are killed except for Alcides & Sotiris. To protect his prince’s identity Sotiris claims that Alcides is dead and the prince calls himself Hercules.
Hercules & Sotoris are sold as slaves and made to fight as gladiators in arenas earning a name for themselves and eventually winning their freedom when they fight against previously undefeated warriors (including a pair that look like ancient Greece’s version of former wrestling legends, The Legion of Doom) and even though Sortoris gets injured, Hercules single-handedly defeats 6 warriors in Greece earning their freedom. Meanwhile Alceme, in mourning for her son, finally tells the king about Hercules’ real father and is killed by Amphitryon. Meanwhile deserters of Amphitryon’s army joins Hercules Chiron brings Hercules’ news of his mother, who vows to avenge her death. Sotiris and Hercules seek refuge in the home of the human vessel of Hera, who foretells Hercules’ destiny. Hebe, is saved by Chiron before she can commit suicide and is brought to Hercules for a joyous reunion. Hercules and Sotiris begin a fight against Amphitryon’s campaign of tyranny, angering Amphitryon who seeks to destroy them. Iphicles, aided by his mercenaries, murders Sotiris’ wife and uses his son as a bargaining chip. Sortis has to lead the king to Hercules who is tied to pillars and whipped.
Hercules watches on in horror as Iphicles murders Chiron under Amphitryon’s orders. In anguish he acknowledges his father and calls upon him for strength. Hercules breaks free from his chains and crushes Amphitryon’s guard. Amphitryon and Iphicles escape. Hercules and Sotiris gather their soldiers and attack the palace and after a fight, Hercule is about to kill the king when Iphicles arrives with a knife at Hebe. Hercules hesitates but Hebe thrusts the dagger through her shoulder, killing Iphicles. Hercules finally avenges Alcmene’s death and kills Amphitryon with the same blade that killed his mother. He then rushes to Hebe’s aid and carries her away to be taken care off. We then see Hercules & Hebe as king & queen, ruling the kingdom with a new baby in their arms.
Critics panned this movie and I agree. It’s not a well made or well acted film and certainly lacks the charm & charisma of movies made on Hercules back in the 60s & 70s. It bombed at the box office. I’d give it a 5.5 outta 10!