Even if you’re not familiar with classical mythology, you’ve probably heard of Hercules. For about two thousand years, we’ve been hearing about this son of the god Zeus and moral woman Alcmene. The strength and adventures of the divine hero are, well, the stuff of legends. It’s too bad that the crew behind The Legend of Hercules didn’t go with any of those legends.
The Legend of Hercules begins in ancient Greece, in a land ruled by King Amphitryon. Queen Alcmene, tired of her husband’s warmongering, prays to the goddess Hera. Hera tells her that she’ll bear a son by Zeus, name him Hercules, and he’ll be the saviour of her people. King Amphitryon names his son Alcides, but Alcmene secretly acknowledges his true name as Hercules.
Twenty years later, Alcides and his older, jealous brother compete for Princess Hebe. She is Alcides’s lover, but must marry Iphicles for political reasons. To get him out of the way, Alcides is sent to join a campaign of soldiers in Egypt. Soon, he finds himself captured and sold into slavery. He must make his way back to Greece, to his kingdom and to his love.
You couldn’t give Hercules a more generic treatment if you tried. It gets worse, but I don’t want to completely spoil it for you, not that I recommend you watch this clichéd and boring clunker of a sword and sandals film.
The Legend of Hercules was filmed in Bulgaria and looks and feels like Eastern Europe. I was never convinced I was looking at ancient Greece or Egypt. The actors don’t look or sound right. The clothes are wrong. The movie looks cheap and and is dull. It was not fun enough for an action movie or absorbing enough for a drama.