Legendary and Ragnarok are currently available on instant Netflix
Legendary (2013) – Rated PG-13
“A cryptozoologist assembles his team for an expedition to China’s hinterland, where a primeval monster locals call the “Shocate” is believed to roam.”
One Line Review: This movie is Legen- wait for it- awful.
Poor Scott Adkins. He is a very hard-working world-class athlete and martial artist. He is also a passable, if somewhat wooden, actor. He is fairly good-looking and, due to his athleticism, has quite a body. In the past, this would have added up to him being an action star, which is what he is trying to become. Unfortunately the Van Damme/Seagal/Norris era is long over (as Schwarzenegger is finding out to his detriment).
This doesn’t stop Adkins from trying. He bounces back and forth between small roles in Hollywood productions and starring roles in cheap overseas productions. Legendary is one of his starring roles. He plays a cryptozoologist along the lines of Denise Richards’ scientist from The World is Not Enough.
He acts alongside fellow B-movie action star Dolph Lundgren and an Asian supporting cast. Obviously, Adkins and Lundgren have an obligatory fight scene. Unfortunately there isn’t much else for Adkins to do and Lundgren just mugs his way through the film.
The CGI is pretty awful, just a smidge above an Asylum production. It would seem Legendary is a misnomer. Forgettable would be a much better name.
Ragnarok (2013) – Rated PG-13
“An archaeologist sets out to find a link between an ancient shipwreck and the Viking apocalypse known as Ragnarok, only to make a chilling discovery.”
Ragnarok is a film with a very intriguing premise. Many films start with a small investigation that widens in focus to something far larger than the investigators had surmised. This is a subplot of films like Deep Impact and 2012 and somewhat a staple of the private eye genre (Chinatown, The Two Jakes). Ragnarok actually starts out as an investigation of something far larger and ends up narrowing in focus.
Ragnarok is not great and you will have to read subtitles but it is far, far better than Legendary while running along similar lines. The nordic scenery is quite nice and the setting somewhat unique. The CGI is a step up from Legendary and is fairly decent.
Ragnarok tries to be both an adventure film and a monster movie. It doesn’t really succeed as either but is a passable waste of time. Part of the problem stems from its attempt to be family friendly. It succeeds but what American family is going to watch a subtitled film together?