21st Jun2015

‘Legendary’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Yi Huang, Nathan Lee, James Lance, Lydia Leonard, Geng Le, Murray Clive Walker, Viktor Sobtchak, Tom Austen, David Thomas Jenkins, Li Shengye, Yang Caiyu, Paul Philip Clark, Ivan Kotik | Written by Andy Briggs | Directed by Eric Styles


Take one 80s action star and one current kick-ass action movie icon and throw in a strange, mythical creature and you get Legendary (aka Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon, aka Legendary 3D). A family-friendly, Indiana Jones-style monster movie that follows cryptozoologist Travis (Adkins) who, after the death of one of his team whilst chasing down an undiscovered prehistoric bear, travels to China in search of what isn’t supposed to exist: a mythical creature, a Cryptid, which is wreaking havoc in a remote village where a new pipeline is being laid. However standing in their way is bounty-hunter Harker (Lundgren) whose plan – as it was when he teamed with Travis to hunt the aforementioned bear – is to kill first and ask questions later…

It’s safe to say Legendary has been a LONG time coming. I remember reading about the film way back in the Spring of 2013 when some  slightly hokey test footage appeared online, since then the film has made its debut in China (where it was released in cinemas) and across Europe, however only now has the film finally surfaced in the UK; and that’s despite the film being a co-production between China and the UK…

Was it worth the wait? Honestly that answer to that question truly depends on your tolerance for cheesy B-movies. Me? I enjoyed it. It didn’t blow me away, and it certainly isn’t the best film on Scott Adkins’ CV but – let’s just say – after watching Legendary it’s no surprise the film has quietly snuck out on to DVD and VOD here in Blighty. After all, given the title, it would definitely get done for false advertising!

Sharing a lot in common with the low-budget cash-ins that appeared around the time of Indiana Jones’ release (you remember those – the likes of Ark of the Sun God, Perils of Gwendoline, Jungle Raiders et al.) Legendary is a strange beast. For starters the film’s “legendary” beasts are nothing more than giant lizards, although for fans of the giant creature-features – as seen on the Syfy channel – that has to be an added bonus surely? Much like if I’d have seen this film under the original sub-title Tomb of the Dragon (there’s no tombs and no dragons), I was really let down by Legendary. For the majority of its runtime, the film is filled with people stood around talking or staring vacantly at tracks left by the, ultimately disappointing, giant lizard. Or arguing about whether or not to kill the beast – side note, why would you want a giant creature to stay alive if it has been killing and eating the locals?

As you’ve probably gathered from reading the rest of this review, this film is a real disappointment; hell, there’s not even a “so bad it’s good” cheese factor (as often found in the old Indy cash-ins) to this movie and – in the end – this  a legendary tale that probably should have remain untold.

Legendary is available now on DVD and iTunes.


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