I like sword and sandal pictures, but seldom think about them beyond the closing credits. This movie, directed by Renny Harlin, is a notable exception. It really has that classical, almost Shakespearean, quality, due to the well-turned phrases of the script by Sean Hood and Daniel Giat, ably supported by the excellent score of Tuomas Kantelinen. The work of the director of photography Sam McCurdy and the special effects crew are A-level as well.
The three leading men, Kellan Lutz (Hercules), Scott Adkins (Amphitryon), and Liam McIntyre (Sotiris), are all superior in the fighting scenes, whether with fist, sword, dagger, spear, small-headed trident, or even bow and arrow, though Lutz is required to master more types of weapons than the others. But it’s the literate line-readings that elevate the acting to some of the best you will ever see in this type of picture. The women (Gaia Weiss as the princess Hebe and Roxanne McKee as Amphitryon’s queen, Alcmene) as well work in a classical format and are beautiful to boot.
Renny Harlin is at the top of anyone’s game here. The Legend of Hercules is a very impressive effort, with kudos to everyone involved.