The Legend of Hercules

Composed By: Tuomas Kantelinen

Distributed by: Lionsgate Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the action film The Legend of Hercules, Kellan Lutz stars as Hercules, secret son of the ruler of all Greek gods Zeus.  As such, Hercules is half-man and half-god.  However, unaware of his true parentage, Hercules lives a normal life as Alcides, son of King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins).  Little does he know that Amphitryon is planning his demise, knowing full well that Hercules is not his own son.  In a botched attempt at ending Hercules' life, the man with incredible strength and fortitude finds himself in captivity, forced to fight as a gladiator and undergoing arduous ordeals to return to his rightful kingdom and the woman he loves (Gaia Weiss).

                The music of The Legend of Hercules was composed by Finland native Tuomas Kantelinen.  Classical composition study in Finland prepared Kantelinen for a career in composing.  He has composed musical scores for over thirty films, including Mother of Mine, Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan, The Italian Key, Purge, Once Upon a Time in the North, Yakuza's Daughter, Mindhunters and more.

                According to Kantelinen, he was excited at the opportunity to create a musical score for The Legend of Hercules: "I was ecstatic to get to tackle the score of a movie that plays on such a grand scale,” said Kantelinen. “The film has both huge action scenes - where one can go crazy with brass and percussion - and a beautiful love story, with opportunities for a softer musical approach.  From the get-go Renny [Director Renny Harlin] wanted a more 'old-fashioned' score in the vein of classic swords and sandals movies, and as a big fan of orchestral music I was more than happy to go with his idea."

                To that end, he created a score that is a mix of orchestral and ethnic instrumentation with a choir used to intensify specific moments.  The score contains a heroic theme complete with horn fanfare, crashing cymbals and choir.  Romantic moments are softer and often heavier on strings.  There are few tracks on this album - only twelve - but the tracks are quite lengthy and often exciting.

                One of two 2014 movies featuring the mythical Greek hero, The Legend of Hercules was released in January 2014 and was poorly received.  It has been considered a flop in the box office.  That being the case, you might wonder who would want to purchase this soundtrack, but that would be judging a book by its shelf-mate.  The fact of the matter is that, although the movie may not have wowed the audience, this is certainly not the fault of its soundtrack.  Tuomas Kantelinen created a musical score that perfectly illustrates the power of Hercules and the gods of Olympus while also showing the softer side of the legend.  The music is at once exciting and beautiful and is well worth paying some attention to. 

                So while one may not have wanted to see the film, as a music lover, one can definitely appreciate the beauty of its score.  That being said, serious movie score fans should check out The Legend of Hercules Soundtrack as an example of some impressive musical scoring by Tuomas Kantelinen.


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