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The Legend of Hercules

Renny Harlin's mythical actioner is just barely diverting

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In the new BBC series Atlantis, an affable-cum-portly actor portrays Hercules. In the new Hollywood movie The Legend of Hercules, he's portrayed by Kellan Lutz, one of a recent crop of young slabs of meat having a go at stardom.

This story of the half-mortal son of Zeus pits Herc against his earthly father, a king, and also his brother and heir to the throne, who's engaged to the woman Herc loves. To win her, of course, he must fight battles. It's all thoroughly pointless, and just barely diverting.

The director, Renny Harlan, is an old Hollywood hand, so you'd think he'd know how to package this sort of cerebral junk food. But the movie's 3-D is amateurish, with objects and people often blocking your view for no reason. Harlan sometimes reverts to slow motion, and he seems to care more about individual images than overall effect.

As for Lutz, he's mildly untalented, albeit with pecs bigger than his beloved's breasts (his nipples, in fact, may even be bigger). Hercules was conceived when his pater-deity comes in on the wind, and when he finally accepts his godly heritage, he literally fights like Olympian lightning. In 3-D in select theaters

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