Hot off the heals of reviewing the killer snake movie, Anaconda, comes another write-up about a killer animal. This time, it is a giant killer lizard-type creature in Eric Styles’ action adventure horror film, Legendary.
An unknown giant creature has been spotted in China, where it is killing innocent people. Cryptozoologist, Dr. Travis Preston (Scott Adkins, The Legend of Hercules), and his team travel to the country to investigate and capture the animal. Little do they know, they have some competition from Travis’ old colleague, a prize hunter by the name of Harker (Dolph Lundgren, Rocky IV), who wants to kill the creature and add it to his trophy list. The two teams must race against each other to find the creature and prevent any more deaths from taking place.
Just like I mentioned in my Anaconda review, these types of films are really made or broken by the creature design and execution. In Legendary, we see two types of giant “cryptids,” or animals that are believed to be extinct or of some kind of mythical origin. The first is a giant Grizzly-like bear and the second, and main focus of the film, is a humongous lizard-like reptile amphibian cross-species. While the Grizzly does look massive and terrifying, the CGI could have been way better, making the scenes even more genuine. The same goes for the lizard; While it wasn’t made-for-TV, SyFy channel bad, it wasn’t as good as I’d hope for.
The acting was pretty good throughout, but I have to give the best-performance award to Dolph Lundgren, who has become a ‘legend’ in his own right. I know the man has been making a comeback as of late with lots of straight-to-DVD movies, but I really haven’t seen him in much, other than the Rocky movie he did years ago and a couple of the Expendables films. He did an awesome job as the obnoxious, give-no-f*cks about anyone hunter, who was out for one thing and one thing only… himself and a giant freakin’ lizard! The movie’s goal was for us to hate Harker, but Lundgren is too slick. Even though he gets slapped around a bit, the dude will always be a badass, whether he plays a good guy or a villain.
While Legendary is about giant monster-like animals, it isn’t really a horror movie. Sure, these things are scary, but the whole tone of the film is rather light-hearted. From the soundtrack to the characters, this movie plays out more like an action adventure than a horror movie. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is worth noting if you are interested in watching the film.
I did enjoy it and am interested to see if a sequel ever comes to fruition or not. If you like movies about giant animals on the loose, give Legendary a shot. You can purchase a copy on DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate today!
I give it 2.5 mammoth bear claws out of 5.