Movie Reviews

Immortals: Heavenly images

By Wang DexianMovies - 17 November 2011 11:46 AM | Updated 24 November 2011

Immortals: Heavenly images

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Stars: Henry Cavil, Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas

The Buzz:Immortals is a very important crossroads for two of its most important men. Henry Cavil is the next man to step into the shoes of Kryptonian alien Kal-El AKA Superman in 2013's Man of Steel, and famed music video director Tarsem Singh, who directed celebrated slices of pop culture like R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" and Pepsi's "We Will Rock You" commercial with Britney, Beyonce and Pink, also has a huge year ahead, with his fourth feature film coming out next March. That will be his take on Snow White, titled Mirror, Mirror.

The Story: The evil King Hyperion seeks the elusive Epirus Bow, the only thing capable of unlocked the fabled Titans from their cage. The Titans also happen to be the only other Immortals who can challenge the reign of Gods. Should King Hyperion succeed, he would rule Greece alone. Luckily for them Greeks, an ultra-fit and ultra-brave peasant, Theseus, stands in his way. thinks: Tarsem Singh once described his vision for Immortals as "a hardcore action flick done in the style of a Renaissance painting." He couldn't have been anymore spot on as Immortals is a spectacular achievement, a visceral mix of sight and sound. Gorgeous landscapes, costume designs coupled with CG work and Singh's unique visual acumen lend the film a very pretty product.Watching bronzed up men and literal shining golden Gods kick ass in slow motion hasn't been quite satisfying since... ever.

The commitment to looking good goes all the way, even to the extent of casting model-type actors like Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas and Kellan Lutz as Greek Gods, which frankly, is one of the more ludicrous casting choices ever. Maybe they don't have the certain white bearded gravitas we've come to expect from Zeus and company but it does sort of work as their six packs and good looks do render them Godly perfection on screen. It also doesn't really add nor subtract from the film's performances as there are hardly any to begin with in the first place. Odd casting choice? Sure. Inspired? Probably not. A violent and thumping score rounds up the picture, giving it the necessary punch and companion to the gory action playing out on screen.

The film certainly draws comparisons to 300, especially since both films shared the same producer. Also, Immortals' marketing was certainly begging to be compared to 300. The comparisons are apt. However, we must also note that Immortals is a much more violent film than 300. A couple behind us walked out on the film after one of the first action sequences so this isn't really an ideal girlfriend movie. If you're a guy and you can't bear watching someone else pummel another guy's pelvis with a giant sledgehammer, you'd probably want to avoid this as well.

Where the movie falters is quite predictably, the story. The screenplay is fairly weak, as Freida Pinto's Phaedra, basically this movie's Oracle... sees visions and conveniently charts the characters' next objectives from point to point. Points that are set up along the film's progression are also left unanswered by the end. The momentum carried over from the huge action sequences are wasted as the dialogue doesn't hold attention, the scene seemingly dangling slowly in front of the viewer, making him or her sit and wait for the next huge action set piece to happen. Those are all subjective views of course and most of the target audience for this film probably wouldn't even care all that much about the story.

However, the mythology of the character Theseus is very much tied to him slaying a Minotaur. Well... it turns out the Minotaur in this film is a man in a bull-shaped barbed wire helmet. We're all for putting a new spin on things but this one left our head scratching. This could possibly be one of this year's worst adapted characters in terms of look. (Parallax from Green Lantern, we're looking at you.)

All in all, if you're going with some mindless bloody fun, you can't go wrong with Immortals. It is a very well put together package that looks and sounds polished. The result is a solid and efficient film that achieves what it has set out to achieve; an entertaining yet gory hack and slash flick with bits of Greek mythology thrown in for good measure. Those looking for a little something more will be disappointed, mainly due to the storytelling, which doesn't quite elevate itself to the level that the visuals have taken the movie.