Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kevin Sorbo and Disney do Hercules better



Movie Title:  The Legend of Hercules

Grade: C

In a Nutshell:  I used to get a kick out of the old Kevin Sorbo TV show Hercules: The Legendary Journey .  Well, this is nothing like that.  You know that awesome Disney movie Hercules ?  Well, sadly, it’s nothing like that either.  Instead, this is a disappointing retelling that has no sense of humor and the worst movie extras I’ve seen in years.  You know a movie is bad when you actually notice the extras.  My 8 year old nephew walked out of the movie because he was bored.  Yikes.

It feels like it wants to be the movie 300 , but just can’t pull it together past 200.  It also reminded me of a cheesy version of the movie Gladiator . If you’re interested in watching lots of massive arms and muscular thighs fighting for an hour and half, you’re going to love this movie.  I’m thinking that Game of Thrones fans will enjoy the stylized production sets and epic scenery.

Uplifting theme:
  • A little help from God can make all the difference.  (wink)
  • I need to work out more.

Things I liked:
  • I thought Queen Alcmene’s hairdos were super cute.
  • Hercules and Hebe share some very romantic vows of love.
  • The aerial view of King Amphitryon’s kingdom looked amazing.
  • Nice 360 degree camera work during the scene when..SPOILER ALERT…Hercules is tied up with the Captain.
  • Cool electric whip at the end
  • Some of the fight scenes featured slow-motion action that impressively showed off skills and CGI.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Hercules ’ rousing speech could have been Braveheart worthy, but it was so rushed it was a yawn short of inspiring.  In contrast, I thought the speech given by the Princess of Crete to Iphicles about how much she loved Hercules was touching.
  • Kellan Lutz’ pretty-boy baby face and blonde hair didn’t scream Greek demigod to me.
  • The lion CGI looked totally fake and cheesy.
  • There were flurries in the air in several scenes.  Is it supposed to be snow? Cotton in the trees? 
  • Too many lines were growled through clenched teeth
  • I hate fake flying, especially in fight scenes.
  • There are some dumb lines like “Get out of my way, woman!”
  • What kind of accent was Jonathan Schaech going for?  Terrible.
  • HUGE SPOILER ALERT…so Hebe stabs herself to kill Iphicles behind her…she survives and he doesn’t.  Tell me how that works?  Lame.

Funny lines: None.  This film took itself too seriously.

Inspiring lines:
  • The Captain was asked “How is it you survived those places?” He answered “Hope.  I was given hope.”  Hope is a very powerful thing.
  • There were a lot of references to Hercules as Jesus Christ and Zeus as God the Father.  For example, Hercules is chained with his arms outstretched, immaculate conception, and even called a “so called Savior.”  In a speech reminiscent of Pontius Pilate, King Amphitryon mocks Hercules and asks “Do you offer these people salvation when you cannot save yourself?”  Hera says to Hercules “Your father has always been there.  You were just not ready for him.”  Another reference is when Hercules looks up in chains and cries “Father.  I believe in you.  Grant me strength.”

Things to look for:
  • The pretty golden eagle that is a sign from Zeus
  • The fun vertical braid hairdo on the guy in the rock pit fight scene
  • Blue fuzzy Trojan hat worn by an extra in a crowd scene towards the end
  • Cool arrowheads

Tips for parents:
Children familiar with the Disney telling of Hercules will not recognize this story or character.  There is a lot of fighting, but it is mostly bloodless.  No profanity, but there is a sexual scene when Hercules is conceived by an invisible Zeus, which is a bit odd and awkward.  Hercules and Hebe are mostly covered in a love scene in a meadow.

If you love Hercules movies in any form, check out some of these:
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