The Legend of Hercules (3D) [Blu-Ray]
Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins
Release Date: Now Available on 3D/2D Blu-Ray Combo & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.
‘The Legend of Hercules’ tells the origin story of the famous demigod, beginning with his mother’s impregnation of him from the God Zeus. Hercules (though he isn’t aware of that name yet of course), disliked by his father due to the certainty that he is not his child and always given second priority over his brother who his father adores, yet who doesn’t seem the type to handle the role of king very well. When the woman Hercules loves is announced to be married to his brother and he himself is sent off on a pointless mission with a number of his father’s men, a mission suspiciously appearing to exist for the sole purpose of making sure he doesn’t return alive, things look grim for our hero. Naturally the demigod doesn’t give up that easily and with the help of some loyal companions, he will do everything in his power to return home and claim the woman he loves, no matter the odds he must overcome in order to do so.
The film is directed by Renny Harlin, an individual with an impressive list of notable action films under his belt and who I’m sure the majority of you have seen at least one or two of the films he’s directed previously. While he seems to be doing lower budget and far different films these days than he was helming in previous decades, he returns to a large release here, but I must admit it is a disappointment in most ways. The painfully excessive use of random slo-mo moments is almost maddening, and I don’t think there was a single action sequence throughout its entirety that didn’t have one or numerous more random slo-mo sequences inserted in that felt horribly out of place. Even the moments that we might start to feel some emotion at a scene, a random slo-mo insert is thrown into the mix and immediately redirects our attention and efficiently ruins any true heart that might have been present from the scene.
There are a few positive elements to the film, such as the cast, including Kellan Lutz who does a decent job in the lead role, in addition to Scott Adkins and a number of others who all do quite well in their respective roles. The scenery and costumes in the film are quite gorgeous and (especially when viewing in 3D) really helps to give some beauty to the tale, while using wonderfully placed angles in order to fully accentuate the 3D effect and make these landscapes and backgrounds appear quite breathtaking. While ‘The Legend of Hercules’ does have its positive elements, they are unfortunately so heavily overshadowed by its faults that it makes it hard to take seriously. I will say that I’ve certainly seen far worse films over the years and fellow 3D fans might want to give it a watch simply for the impressive use of the 3D format in which the film was natively shot.
The 3D Blu-Ray release of ‘The Legend of Hercules’ features an MVC encoded 3D presentation in Full Resolution and utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio as well as also including a full 1080p High Definition 2D presentation of the film on the same disc, again utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio respectively. The 3D video presentation looks wonderful and considering the often painful over the top cheesiness of this film, the 3D really helps to make it a far more enjoyable experience. The edges, borders and 3D effects all look pretty spot on and I think fellow 3D fans should be quite pleased with the 3D video presentation on this one.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which is absolutely insane and is almost consistently throwing noises, music and effects at you from every possible direction throughout. This lossless soundtrack hits hard and quite consistently, while doing a remarkable job of maintaining accuracy in keeping everything perfectly sharp and in place while debris and what not flies throughout all of the speakers. Even more impressive is that the consistency of various sound effects throughout never causes any of the dialogue in the center channel to be inaudible or negatively affected in any way.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Legend of Hercules’ may not be loaded with bonus content, but it does include some nice and informative extras that fans of the film are sure to appreciate. Included on the release is an Audio Commentary with Director Renny Harlin and star Kellan Lutz, in addition to a surprisingly in dept ‘The Making of Hercules’ featurette that includes interviews and comments with numerous individuals involved with the film.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. It should additionally be noted that for the purpose of convenience, the images present for this specific release represent the 2D version of the film, even though the review itself covers the 3D version. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 5.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘The Legend of Hercules’ is now available to own on 3D/2D Blu-Ray Combo & DVD from Summit Entertainment & Lionsgate Home Entertainment.