LEGENDARY (2013) Reviews and overview

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‘Fear the legend’

Legendary is a 2013 monster movie about a cryptozoologist trying to capture a mysterious creature before a bounty hunter kills it. Also known as Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon

Directed by Eric Styles from a screenplay written by Andy Briggs, the British-Chinese production stars Scott Adkins (The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud; Seized; Legacy of Lies; et al), Dolph Lundgren, Yi Huang, Nathan Lee, James Lance and Lydia Leonard.


Cryptozoologist Travis Preston (Scott Adkins) and his team travel to China in search of what isn’t supposed to exist … their mission to capture a creature that is wreaking havoc in a remote village and they need to do this before it is killed by Harker (Dolph Lundgren), an infamous bounty hunter.


“While I did find Legendary to be an enjoyable movie, I did find myself to be pretty disappointed. Having Dolph and Scott Adkins in the same movie should make for some pretty awesome action/fight scenes and all we really got from Legendary was a few lizard maulings and gunfire.” Action Movie Fanatix

“I got a real National Treasure vibe from Legendary, just replace history with cryptozoology. It is an action/adventure movie, but there’s definitely more of an emphasis on the adventure than the action. Something I expected when I saw the PG-13 rating. So If you are yearning to see Scott Adkins beat a bunch of people up, don’t watch this movie.” Bulletproof Action

Scott Adkins doesn’t really fits into being a cryptozoologist, but he’s doing his best. And it’s nice to see him do something different for a change. Lundgren’s part is not that vivid, and the rest of the cast are simply being supportive. On the other hand, the acting is good, the scenery and locations are great, as most of the action takes place outside (hills, lake, caves, you know).” BZ Film

“This is beyond a no-go, it’s frustrating in it’s sheer sauteed in wrong sauce-ness.  Who thought this is a good idea is beyond me, but they did, they decided to take two of the premier DTV action talents and put them in a not-quite Asylum monster flick, and we suffered for it.” Direct to Video Connoisseur 

“If one can get past the fact it’s an Adkins film without much fighting action in it and go along for the creature feature ride then there is some monstrous fun to be had with this giant lizard B-movie quickie.” Far East Films

” …still managed to entertain despite a CGI lizard that looked like @ss on some occasions.  Other times it didn’t look so bad. Yes, we’d rather Scott and Dolph punch each other in the face, and yes Legendary wasn’t the best thing we’ve seen coming out of China recently, but we still live for this stuff, and this one, at least, didn’t make me want to kill myself after it was over.” Film Critics United

Legendary isn’t all that different from a bottom-half-of-a-double-bill B programmer you might’ve seen in the 1950s, but its draggy pace doesn’t do it many favors. Adkins is OK but doesn’t seem at home in these surroundings, while Lundgren, who pops in and out of the movie in a way that suggests the filmmakers probably only had him for a very limited amount of time, seems to relish playing the bad guy by turning in a performance that’s somewhat Jack Palance-esque at times.” Good Efficient Butchery

“Yes, the creature is not bad, but the first two acts are too talky and too travelogue-ish. The bucolic natural landscape is lovely, but it would be way more cinematic with more monster attacks. Adkins plays Preston with genuine underdog charisma, but the rest of his team is rather bland and undistinguished (including Geng Le phoning it in as Jianyu) […] Yet, Lundgren upstages everyone, smirking and swaggering his way through the picture as Harker.” J.B. Spins

” …a decent film about a decent-looking CG monster (a big lizard).  That’s about it though.  The production values are not lacking, but not much stands out.  It is funny to see how much they prioritize having Chinese actors appear when you consider the background of said film.” Mondo Bizarro

“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.” Repulsive Reviews

Adkins fares poorly due to bad writing which is a shame. He’s a solid action star and good actor as can be seen in his Universal Soldier films. But his character here is a goody-two-shoes and there isn’t anything for him to grab on to with the character to drag it out of the painfully earnest dungeon. What really sinks this thing, in the end, is the terrible CGI and PG-13 sensibility […] The attack sequences are just rote and dumb and staggeringly unconvincing.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“Full of flaws, wonky dialogue and two lead actors who are obviously about to place vitriolic calls with their respective agents, Legendary does not come with the Junkyard stamp of approval. However, if you have an insatiable urge to quench a desire for ropey monster movies, then you could do far worse than this piece of hokum. With lush cinematography from Shu Yang…” The Schlock Pit

“Neither good enough nor bad enough to be enjoyed on either traditional or ironic levels, this is a mediocre, rather cheap creature feature. Scott Adkins isn’t cast to his best advantage and most of the supporting cast struggle, but Dolph Lundgren is a more than able presence as the gung-ho, ruthless hunter. Not up to snuff I’m afraid Mr Adkins, but the scenery is certainly nice.” Shameless Self Expression

” …this is more of an adventure with more in common with a 1950s dinosaur flick. It isn’t bad by any means and flows pretty quickly through its 92 minutes running time (the film actually ends at 85 minutes and we get 7 minutes of end credits). Adkins is fine in his role and Lundgren does his patented “guy who kills people” routine that involves him speaking slower.” Video Junkie

Cast and characters:

Scott Adkins … Travis Preston
Dolph Lundgren … Harker
Yi Huang … Doctor Lan Zeng
Nathan Lee … Brandon Hua
James Lance … Doug McConnel
Lydia Leonard … Katie
Jianyu (as Geng Le)
Murray Clive Walker … Chuck
Viktor Sobtchak … Vadim
Tom Austen … Scott
David Thomas Jenkins … Fry
Shengye Li … Han Wu
Caiyu Yang … Bai Xi
Paul Philip Clark … Karl
Ivan Kotik … Greg

Technical details:

92 minutes


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