The Legend of Hercules
|The Legend of Hercules|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Renny Harlin|
|Produced by||Boaz Davidson
|Written by||Daniel Giat
|Music by||Tuomas Kantelinen|
|Edited by||Vincent Tabaillon|
|Distributed by||Summit Entertainment|
|Running time||99 minutes|
The Legend of Hercules (formerly known as Hercules: The Legend Begins and Hercules 3D) is a 2014 American action fantasy film directed by Renny Harlin and co-written by Harlin with Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve, and Sean Hood. The film stars Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, and Liam Garrigan.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2014)|
In 1200 BC ancient Greece, King Amphitryon of Tires invades the shores of Argos. The two massive armies face each other, prepared for battle. Amphitryon strikes a bargain with the rival King Galenus: the two will fight to the death, to the victor goes his adversary's kingdom and army. The two engage in combat and Amphitryon easily defeats Galenus and seizes his kingdom. That night, Amphitryon is visited by his estranged wife, Queen Alcmene. Amphitryon boasts he won the kingdom for her while Alcmene protests he won the kingdom for himself and its gold. Alcmene is disgusted by her husband's thirst for power and warmongering. She prays to Hera for guidance. A woman appears declaring herself to be Hera, wife of Zeus, and prophesies that Alcmene will bear the son of Zeus and he will be the savior of her people. The only other witness to this is Chiron, the queen's loyal adviser.
That night, as Amphitryon celebrates his victory, Alcmene is visited by Zeus. She is discovered by Amphitryon who believes the Queen has taken a mortal lover. Alcmene soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy whom Amphitryon names Alcides, but she secretly acknowledges his true name: Hercules. Twenty years later, a strong and handsome Hercules/Alcides rides along the countryside with his love, Hebe. They frolic along the shore of a secluded lake. Alcides admires Hebe's necklace which was given to her by her mother; she in turn bestows the necklace to Alcides. The two are discovered by Alcides' older brother, Iphicles. A search party was dispatched to look for Hebe, a princess of Crete. Hebe returns to the palace along with her guard while Alcides and Iphicles follow. Along the way, the two are attacked by a lion. Alcides wrestles with the lion, strangling it. Iphicles takes all the credit and arrives at the royal banquet wearing the lion's pelt as a cloak. He attempts to humiliate Alcides, calling him a coward but Hebe sees right through him. At the banquet Amphitron announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles. The two lovers are devastated and decide to run away together. They are chased down by the royal guard and Hebe nearly drowns before being saved by Alcides. Alcides is taken back to the palace and is sent away by his father to join a campaign of soldiers to Egypt.
As Alcides prepares for his journey, Alcmene tells him of his true lineage. Alcides believes it is madness and departs for his journey vowing to return to Hebe in three moons before her impending nuptials. Alcides, under the command of Captain Sotiris, traverses the arid Egyptian desert. Sotiris sends two scouts ahead to scour the desert but they never return. The company is ambushed, leaving Alcides and Sotiris as the last survivors. The leader of the ambush recovers Alcides' helmet and demands to know where the prince is. Sotiris gestures to the body of a slain soldier, saying he is Alcides. Alcides refers to himself as Hercules to protect his identity. It is revealed that Amphitryon planned the ambush in hopes of killing Hercules. The two are sold off as slaves to a vicious promoter who organizes gladiator style fights. Sotiris and Hercules fight to death with other slaves and soon become undefeated. Sotiris and Hercules convince the promoter to send them to Greece in order to fight in an arena battle in which two gladiators fight six undefeated gladiators. If the promoter were to bet on Hercules and Sotiris he would have riches beyond his wildest dreams. The promoter agrees to take Sotiris and Hercules if they are able to defeat two other gladiators, Half Face and Humbaba. The four are thrown into an arena, with narrow stone paths divided by pits studded with spikes. Hercules defeats Half Face and Humbaba but Sotiris is injured. The promoter refuses to take Sotiris, since he will be useless in battle but Hercules convinces him to set Sotiris free and he will fight all six gladiators himself.
Back in Greece, Alcmene and Hebe mourn the death of Hercules. Alcmene once again seeks guidance from Hera. Amphitryon discovers her and confronts her about Hercules' parentage. She reveals she took Zeus as her lover so that she would bear the child that would overthrow him, after which she tries to stab Amphitryon, but fails. In anger, Amphitryon stabs Alcmene with her own dagger. Chiron discovers them and Amphitryon tells him the Queen committed suicide in her grief. Meanwhile, Hercules arrives in Greece and easily bests the six gladiators in battle. The people celebrate his victory and deserters of Amphitryon's army join him and Sotiris. Chiron brings Hercules' news of his mother, who vows to avenge her death. Sotiris and Hercules seek refuge in the home of the human vessel of Hera, who foretells Hercules' destiny.
Hebe is in anguish after the death of Alcides and dreads her wedding to Iphicles, in just two moons. She tries to leap off the roof of the palace but is saved by Chiron who brings her to Hercules. The two are reunited and return to Hercules' safe-house. Amphitryon's army begins to desert him, forcing him to hire foreign mercenaries. Hercules and Sotiris begin a fight against Amphitryon's campaign of tyranny, angering Amphitryon who seeks to destroy them. Iphicles, aided by the mercenaries, murders Sotiris' wife and uses his son as a bargaining chip. He must lead them to Hercules or his son will die. Sotiris reluctantly leads them to the safe-house. Iphicles discovers that Hercules is none other than his brother Alcides. Hercules, Chiron, and Hebe are captured. Sotiris and Chiron are imprisoned while Hercules is chained and publicly flogged. Sotiris and Chiron are brought before the crowd. Hercules watches on in horror as Iphicles murders Chiron under Amphitryon's orders. In anguish he acknowledges his father and calls upon him for strength. Hercules breaks free from his chains and crushes Amphitryon's guard. Amphitryon and Iphicles escape.
Hercules and Sotiris raise an army and storm Amphitryon's palace. Amphitryon's guard join Hercules and his army and they battle Amphitryon's mercenaries. Hercules calls upon his father who infuses his sword with the power of lightning. Hercules easily defeats the mercenaries with his lightning sword. He meets Amphitryon inside and the two duel. Hercules nearly defeats Amphitryon but Iphicles holds Hebe hostage and threatens to kill her if Hercules does not let Amphitryon go. Hercules hesitates but Hebe thrusts the dagger through her shoulder, killing Iphicles. Hercules finally avenges Alcmene's death and kills Amphitryon with the same blade that killed his mother. Hercules rushes to Hebe's side as she slowly drifts into unconsciousness. Nearly a year later, the cries of a baby are heard. Hebe gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. Hercules looks on lovingly at his new family. That night, he watches over his kingdom, finally fulfilling his destiny.
- Kellan Lutz as Hercules/Alcides
- Gaia Weiss as Hebe
- Scott Adkins as King Amphitryon
- Roxanne McKee as Queen Alcmene
- Liam Garrigan as Iphicles
- Liam McIntyre as Sotiris
- Rade Šerbedžija as Chiron
- Johnathon Schaech as Tarak
- Luke Newberry as Agamemnon
- Jukka Hilden as Creon
- Kenneth Cranham as Lucius
- Mariah Gale as Kakia
- Sarai Givaty as Saphirra
- Richard Reid as Archer #1
- Spencer Wilding as Humbaba
- Bashar Rahal as Battalion Commander #1
The Legend of Hercules was widely panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 3% rating, with an average rating of 2.3/10, based on 71 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Cheap-looking, poorly acted, and dull, The Legend of Hercules is neither fun enough to qualify as an action movie nor absorbing enough to work on a dramatic level". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 22 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The Legend of Hercules grossed $8,868,318 in its opening weekend, ranking #3 in the domestic box office behind Lone Survivor's third weekend and Frozen's eighth. As of March 9, 2014, the film has grossed $18.8 million domestically and an additional $42.4 million internationally for a worldwide total of $61.3 million, failing to make back the budget of $70 million.
- "Tuomas Kantelinen Scoring Hercules: The Legend Begins". Film Music Reporter. October 13, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- Yamato, Jen (November 12, 2013). "Summit Snaps Up Millennium’s ‘Hercules: The Legend Begins’ Starring ‘Twilight’s Kellan Lutz". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- "THE LEGEND OF HERCULES (12A)". Lions Gate Entertainment. British Board of Film Classification. January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "'Lone Survivor' likely to top 'Frozen' at weekend box office". Los Angeles Times. January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "The Legend of Hercules". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Summit Renames the Hercules Film Starring Kellan Lutz". ComingSoon.net (CraveOnline). November 28, 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "'Twilight' star Kellan Lutz cast as lead in 'Hercules 3D'". NME. April 8, 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "The Legend of Hercules (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "The Legend of Hercules". Metacritic. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for January 10–12, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Official website
- The Legend of Hercules at the Internet Movie Database
- The Legend of Hercules at Box Office Mojo
- The Legend of Hercules at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Legend of Hercules at Metacritic