The fact that this ever even got made is puzzling to say the least. While Millenium tried their hand at the sword & sorcery genre with the CONAN THE BARBARIAN reboot, THE LEGEND OF HERCULES feels like a much cheaper attempt. While Wikipedia states the budget at $70 million, it’s hard to see where the money went. Certainly it didn’t go into the FX work, which doesn’t look good – even on the small screen. An early wrasslin’ match between Hercules and a lion is unintentionally hilarious and notable in that Cecil B. DeMille did the same thing sixty-five years ago in SAMSON & DELLIAH, and it looked better then (it helped that they used a real – if heavily drugged – lion)!
More than anything, this feels like an attempt to cash-in on Brett Ratner’s upcoming mega-budget Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson in the lead. Instead of a legitimately macho movie star, here we get TWILIGHT actor Kellan Lutz. To give Lutz his due, the guy has a damn impressive physique, and clearly he impressed the right people somewhere along the way as he’s part of the ensemble in Millenium’s upcoming EXPENDABLES 3. However, the guy doesn’t have much charisma and is certainly no threat to The Rock.
What’s especially puzzling is the fact that Harlin’s got the perfect guy in the cast to play Hercules, Scott Adkins, but he’s sidelined to a generic baddie role, where he’s absent for a good chunk of the running time. It’s worth noting the only really decent action sequence is an opening scrap where Adkins takes on another soldier, only to quickly dispatch him. Why wasn’t HE the lead?
Commentary track : Harlin and Lutz sit in for a pretty dull, sporadic commentary track that’s mostly devoid of any really fun stories. Likely this was recorded during production so it sounds like a piece of EPK fluff. The best commentary tracks – especially on flops – usually only come years later, although I doubt this will be revisited any time soon.
The Making of The Legend of Hercules Just your typical dull, fifteen minute epk featurette which was likely only added as an afterthought. There’s nothing especially interesting here, just lots of canned interviews. Eminently skippable.