As a film critic, I will occasionally get an email for a screening of a film I have never heard of. I follow film news daily and while there are some smaller or independent films I’ll miss hearing about before release, it is very rare that something with a budget alludes me. It wasn’t until I received my invite to see The Legend of Hercules 3D that any sort of advertising started appearing anywhere that I saw, which is strange considering how widely well known the Hercules myth is. It’s considerably less strange if you’ve seen any of the trailers for this film, as they seemed to prepare me for an hour and a half of utter garbage.
I can’t necessarily say that my preparation was wrong, The Legend of Hercules 3D is far from anything that I could even remotely call mediocre, but I somehow managed to enjoy a good portion of this movie. It probably wasn’t for the reasons intended, but if you enjoy watching shitty movies, boy is The Legend of Hercules 3D a movie for you. As with any so bad it’s good movie, clearly there was a lot of effort and heart from the production team to make this awful movie, which is why you can still get some sort of fun from it.
If I were to tell you that they were making a live-action Hercules movie starring that one guy from Twilight, you would reasonably assume that they would make something that somewhat followed the actual legend of Hercules. Well I’m happy to tell you that beyond being names Hercules, being the half-human son of Zeus and fighting the Nemean Lion, The Legend of Hercules 3D manages to completely avoid pretty much everything that makes the character who he is. Instead we’re given 300 meets God of War with some of the worst CGI effects I have ever seen, and I watch both modern and classic Doctor Who.
When I say bad CG, I don’t mean bad 3D or strange effects, I mean effects so low quality that anytime there is more computer generated imagery on screen than human actors, the movie actually blurs its picture to obscure just how bad those effects are. I’m talking about blurry crowd scenes where you can visibly tell that 98% of the crowd is one model doing a poorly animated clap on a loop repeated ad nauseum. They may have tried to do as much as possible with the budget they had, but just how small whatever their budget actually was is painfully obvious.
In spite of that, the terribly paced first act, the nonsensical ending and the sneaking suspicion that if all of the slow motion scenes were at normal speed this movie would only be 40 minutes long, there were enough well choreographed fight scenes and unintentionally humorous directing choices that I walked out of the theater with a smile on my face and an active desire to watch this again with a group of people when I can see it for free.
There is no denying that The Legend of Hercules 3D is a bad movie. The acting is terrible, the script barely contains a cohesive plot and the special effects are laughably bad, yet I still managed to have fun watching this movie. I could never for a second recommend that you journey to the theater and pay money to see it, but when this is on Netflix it could easily be a bad movie that you drunkenly watch with your friends and have a great time doing so. If you’re not the type of person that can enjoy shitty movies, stay far far away as ‘big budget’ action movies don’t get much non-offensively worse than this.
In Theaters: January 10, 2014
Runtime: 98 min
Rating: PG-13 for intense combat action, violence, some sensuality.
Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre, Liam Garrigan, Johnathon Schaech, Gaia Weiss, Rade Serbedzija, Roxanne McKee, Kenneth Cranham, Mariah Gale, Luke Newberry, Sarai Givaty, Dimitar Doychinov, Nikolay Sotirov
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Distributor: Lionsgate, Millennium Films
Official Site: http://www.Hercules3DMovie.com