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There was a time when the names Brett Ratner and Renny Harlin were almost synonymous, as both have made careers out of generally silly action films. The fact that they’re both releasing Hercules movies in 2014 is such a delight to me, and while Ratner’s Hercules team-up with Dwayne Johnson will undoubtedly be a better experiences, part of me is pretty geared up for Harlin’s insanely over-the-top The Legend of Hercules. We get to see quite a bit of the battle scenes in these four new clips, plus Kellan Lutz’s titular character nearing a possibly forbidden makeout session with Hebe (Gaia Weiss). While I’m sure it wasn’t against any laws for Lutz to wear a shirt during the production of this film, there must have been some kind of a contractual obligation warning against it.
I would admittedly rather be a 10-year-old boy watching The Legend of Hercules during a sleepover rather than a 31-year-old manchild dropping dollars at the cinema, but even at this advanced age, I can’t deny the occasional urge to watch grown men beat the shit out of each other in slow motion. The above clip, via ComingSoon, is patently ridiculous, but in a mostly positive way. I would be lying if I said I didn’t hoot in pleased laughter when he drove his shield down into one warrior’s foot and smashed his toes before leaping off of said shield and slamming the guy in the back of the head. While the film probably owes its entire existence to the career of Zack Snyder’s slo-mo-infused fisticuffs, I like how this clip actually looks more inspired by the high-flying antics of professional wrestling.
Unfortunately, the other three clips aren’t quite as enjoyable. The one you’ll see below is another gladiator battle scene, but it takes place on a bunch of uneven rock formations in the middle of the coliseum. It’s not terrible, but I kept wondering about the poor saps that were tasked with getting all those rocks situated like that.
The video below looks like it’s going to be a big fight, but a team of expert archers make short waste of all enemy combatants as they make their allegiance to Hercules known. This is the rare scene where Hercules’ chest is covered, but we’re blaming it on the rain.
And here we have a subdued scene where Hercules gets a necklace from his love, the daughter of the king who hates him. You know what I’m not watching this movie for? Romantic undertones.
Is everyone absolutely pumped about this film yet? No? Yeah, well, it is Renny Harlin, who last directed the below-average found footage horror Devil’s Pass, which I suffered through the other day. But just these clips were better than the bulk of that film, so have faith. You can watch the making of a legend when the film bashes theaters open on January 10.