Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Fall – 2006, and The Cell – 2000), and written by Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides, Immortals cracks open another bit of the Greek mythos where gods are golden and the peasant hero rises to eternal glory. Oh my, I didn’t spoil it for you, did I? Don’t worry. I didn’t.
Immortals tells the story of Theseus (played by Henry Cavill of Starlight and, you’ll be interested to note, the upcoming Superman film – Man of Steel). Well, a story of Theseus, as I did a bit of Wikipedia research about him and I quickly found that there was very little about the film that was reflected in Greek mythology. I’m okay with that though, because the entirety of my own knowledge about Greek mythology is contained in the 1981 film Clash of the Titans. So this is a story more inspired by mythology than based in it.
Theseus is a bastard peasant, who’s fighting skills are honed throughout his life by an Old Man played by John Hurt, who delivers a wonderfully subtle and tender performance. Somehow this Old Man knows that Theseus is destined for greatness and spends his life training him, and sharing his wisdom with him. Sure enough, a tyrant named King Hyperion shows up and sets Theseus’ fate in motion.
Hyperion is played by Mickey Roarke, and if you aren’t familiar with his work, go watch Barfly, Sin City, and The Wrestler. But first, crawl from under whatever you live and buy a television. Roarke chews up the role and spits it at the screen with all the evil viciousness and subtle maliciousness that, I assume, would be appropriate for a King bent on destroying humanity. Hyperion has one goal, which is to release the Titans that were imprisoned in a mountain a thousand years before three thousand years ago.
The only way to do that is find a weapon powerful enough to break them out, and the only way to find that is to find the virgin oracle that can envision it’s location. The weapon is called the Eperius Bow, which you may remember from the Dungeons and Dragons animated series from the ’80’s. I’m not saying they ripped off the idea, but they may have ripped off the idea.
And what about that bow? Look at it closely.
It’s clearly a modern composite re-curve with adjustable string tension and sight bracket. COVERED in sequins. AND the arrow is resting on the wrong side. Way to phone it in, prop department.
There are many, many battle scenes, and one love scene, which I suppose is necessary. Since the Oracle is a virgin (played by Freida Pinto), she’s useful, but as soon as she gets devirginized, not so much, so to save her Theseus must….well, you get the picture.
It’s the only nudity in the film, which I suppose is enough. After all the bloodletting to that point, I felt weird watching them get all sexified. Can’t help it. I’m programmed by our cultural acceptance of violence over sex.
Oh yeah. We mustn’t forget about the gods. Remember the Old Man? Yeah. He’s one of them. Zeus in fact, but in mortal form. In god form, Zeus is played by Luke Evans, without the same subtlety and skill as his mortal counterpart. Which is totally expected, but I digress. See, the gods have laws. I have no idea why. They cannot show themselves to mortals in god form, nor interfere in mortal affairs. Unless you’re Zeus. For my money, that makes them more like really wealthy upstairs neighbors than gods. What is the point of being a god if you can’t actually behave like one? Well, try as they might, some of them just can’t leave well enough alone, and they step in, give a hand here and there. Yeah. Just like in Clash of the Titans.
Visual effects are striking, as you might expect, with all the exploding heads and slow motion falls that this genre seems to think we want to see. But it’s still pretty awesome, if at this point, after 300 and the Spartacus series, somewhat cliche’d.
This was a really fun film. I liked it a lot. Probably not one for the collection, but it was well worth seeing. And the 3D was really good in the places where you’d want it to be, and didn’t detract from the scenes where it wasn’t important.
I give this film a rating of a large Coke Zero, an Ice Cream Drumstick, and a small bag of popcorn with butter, white cheddar seasoning, mixed with pretzel M&M’s. Because that’s what I ate while watching it.
Do comment below; I want to know what you thought!