The Legend of Hercules | D-
With abs of steel and acting talent as strong as balsa wood, a bucktoothed, frosted blond underwear model named Kellan Lutz poses as a demigod in this epically stupid update of the adventures of the mythical strongman. The oiled-up Lutz grunts, flexes and strains so hard he seems likely to burst an artery, and that’s just when he’s trying to complete three consecutive lines of dialogue. Tragically, this vacuous slab of beef is one of the better performers in the movie.
In fairness “sword and sandal” flicks have never been a showcase for top-shelf thespians, with a pantheon of such protein-shake-swilling meatheads as Steve Reeves, Reg Park and Lou Ferrigno stepping into the loin cloth of Hercules, but Lutz brings a spectacular brand of vapidity to the role. The clueless hero is surrounded by an anonymous roster of no-name actors who seem to be competing with each other for a Worst Fake Accent award, and for growling their way through the clumsy faux Shakespearian dialogue. A Ryan Reynolds look-alike called Scott Adkins gives a singularly horrid turn as the villainous King Amphitryon, snarling, spitting and grunting his way through every moment like a schizophrenic in the throes of a Krokodil overdose. As the flavorless love interest Hebe, scraggly haired stringbean Gaia Weiss gazes upon her beloved muscle man with looks that vary from confusion to dull surprise, where there should be adoration. It’s hard to blame her: This charisma-free dimwit seems an unlikely manager of a TCBY, let alone the savior of a kingdom.