Since his break out in the late 1980s, director Renny Harlin has created films that seemed tailor-made for trailers, and more often than not, that trailer was a better experience than the film as a whole. (I’m looking at you, Cutthroat Island and The Covenant.) Harlin has topped himself with The Legend of Hercules, an action film that looks bigger and ballsier than anything he’s directed in recent years. But like most of his resume, it also looks like everyone forgot to have fun while making it.
The TV spot above is a great example, as it’s filled with characters yelling at someone in peril and characters yelling because they’re in peril. I give you…Hercules!
The kind of film that polarizes moviegoers even before making it to theaters, The Legend of Hercules is the somewhat rare giant blockbuster that is avoiding the summer release season altogether, even though it’s full of the things that make sweaty audiences go gaga. In this clip alone, we see Herc twisting in mid-air while swinging his lightning whip, a team of archers fighting for their lives, a brutal display of strength as Hercules weaponizes the boulders chained to his wrists, a fireball hitting the ground, and someone talking about someone else’s destiny. Plus there’s a long enough shot of Kellan Lutz just standing there in the rain, getting all soaked and (presumably) shirtless midway through the battle. This movie definitely has a built-in audience, but it’s unclear whether that audience knows it yet or not.
Hercules, son of Zeus, is sold into slavery by his King and stepfather (Scott Adkins) for falling in love with a woman (Gaia Weiss) already destined for another man. He must then battle his way through every adversary imaginable in order to get back to his woman and his kingdom. Giant stone walls, be damned!
For the film’s recent New York premiere, Lutz shared a few tidbits on how he got ready for the part, via Variety. He claimed horseback riding was good exercise for his legs and core, and he was able to do push-ups in between takes, since he often wasn’t wearing a shirt that would get sweaty. To get him mentally prepared for the crucifixion scene in the film, Lutz says he "would just religiously watch The Passion of the Christ" for inspiration, being a man of the faith.
Audiences will be able to see just how godlike the actor gets when The Legend of Hercules hits theaters on January 10. You say you need a full trailer in order to get you going through the day? We’ve got your back.