Blu-Ray Review: The Legend Of Hercules (2013, Dir, Renny Harlin)

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I’m a big fan of sword and sandals/sword and sorcery movies and have a shelf worth of them in one of my DVD cabinets but to date I still don’t have any Hercules adaptations. And Hercules is one of those mythic characters that Hollywood has been making movies about since the 50s. I was hoping Renny Harlin’s new film here, The Legend Of Hercules, would be my first but sadly it won’t be.

In Harlin’s take we see how it all began. Herc is born after his mother prays to Hera for peace. You see Herc’s surrogate, mortal father is Scott Adkins, which is cool in and of itself, but Adkins is playing a homicidal douchebag of a King here, which pretty much cancels out that coolness and just makes it downright sad. But maybe not, out of life’s cesspool great heroes can sometimes be born.

Zeus visits Herc’s soon to be mother and while invisible and looking more like a force of nature (aka wind) he knocks her up just as King Amphitryon (Adkins) stumbles in drunk and with a chick. Thinking she was screwing an actual dude, he goes berserk swinging his sword around looking for the actual person andaccidentally kills that chick.

When Herc is born his mortal father gives him the name of Alcides, but Hera already named him Hercules. His mother keeps his real name and his real lineage a secret even from him while he grows up to look like actor Kellan Lutz (After Dusk They Come), and begins having a relationship with this chick his brother is supposed to eventually marry.

His mortal father sends Herc away to battle so he won’t get in the way of his brother’s marriage, but it’s a setup. His father has men ambush him and kill him, but he’s not killed, though word of his death is taken back to his kingdom. He starts using his Hercules name in captivity, as he’s forced into arena combat.

He eventually makes it back home to contend with his ruthless mortal father and brother and takes back the kingdom for the poeple.

This movie looks good, has great fight scenes, but it just didn’t pull me in. The story, I guess, wasn’t captivating me.

Lionsgate releases the film on separate 3D/2D Blu-ray/Digital Copy and DVD/Digital Copy on April 29th. This review is on the 2D blu-ray.

Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.40:1 anamorphic high definition—English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio/Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital/English 2.0 (Nighttime Audio)/English (Descriptive Audio)—English and Spanish subtitles.

Picture quality was gorgeous and I preferred the 2.0 audio track for it came in louder on my headphones.

For extras you get a commentary with Director Renny Harlin and Star Kellan Lutz as well as the featurette, The Making Of The Legend Of Hercules (14:46). Even though I didn’t get into the movie I always enjoy these kinds of behind-the-scenes specials they put on discs and it’s a typical one with brief interviews with the actors, director and the various behind the scene technicians. I’m dismayed however that Harlin ended up appreciating 3D.

I am not a 3D fan.

Dwayne Johnson is set to portray Hercules this summer and from the looks of the trailer that one looks like it might be the keeper I was hoping this one was going to be, but we’ll see trailers can be deceptive.

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