I am pretty mixed with “Immortals.” There were some amazing and badass moments, but there were a lot of odd moments too. I was a little sad because this really had a lot of potential. The commercials looked awesome. But as I remember the commercials for “Pan’s Labyrinth” vs. the actual movie, I have to remind myself that the ads don’t always represent the real product. That being said, if you don’t expect too much, you may actually enjoy this. After the first quarter was over I decided to stop thinking about it. I know it’s my job to be critical, but when you stop criticizing you actually have a good time.
Writers: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Stars: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and John Hurt
Without further ado: welcome to ancient Greece! It is a time with virgin oracles and maze-like temples where the people can pray their devotion to the gods. You have your skeptical men and your faithful women. You have gods that look like young hot studs and studettes. The studliest of them all is Zeus. He takes a special interest in a young man named Theseus and trains him to be a lead an army against an evil king. Evil King Hyperion, played by Mickey Rourke, is angry at the gods for not saving his family from a plague. So he amasses an army to unleash the Titans: the only other creatures that can kill the gods.
Things get rolling when the virgin oracle sees disaster ahead. King Hyperion needs her to tell him where a mystical weapon is to help him with his evil plan. The oracle flees. Meanwhile, Theseus vainly tries to save his village and mother from the onslaught of Hyperion’s forces, but fails. Destiny throws him and the oracle together along with a band of misfits. The gods help a little bit and voila: an adventure movie. But later, Zeus rescinds his assistance and orders all the other gods to stay out of human affairs. That threw a tiny wrench into the plans. But if the gods can’t help, why are they in this movie at all?
I feel a little bad for whoever makes a Greek mythology movie. It is such a beautiful culture with a lot to play around with. The problem is it’s been done a few times now. And the stories that haven’t been done aren’t really good for movies anyway. There were many moments when I saw allusions to “God of War” and “Clash of the Titans.” I felt pretty bad for director Tarsem Singh. The story has been done. This is the formula: the gods choose one man to defend their honor against a non-believer…they help him in his journey…they give him the tools to succeed…it’s the same as every other Greek mythology movie/game out there. The only difference is in the character portrayals.
The best performance came from Mickey Rourke. He is one of the best bed guys I’ve seen in a movie. Even though his motive for villainy was cliché, he was still ridiculously badass. Never cross paths with Hyperion. He doesn’t care about life whatsoever. The other actors’ performances were mediocre at best. Not bad, but not great. Not even really worth mentioning by name. Besides, this movie really isn’t about the characters anyway; it’s about the over-the-top special effects.
“Immortals” is a nice separation from all the other work Tarsem Singh has done. Singh is known for his dark and fanciful movies where there is no limit to the craziness he can add. With that said, he made some interesting choices in post production. There were some surprising scene transitions and some cool special effects. Too bad you could barely see them. I don’t know if it was the 3D or the time of day this movie was shot, but everything was really dark and fuzzy. The best scenes were ones with the gods. They were all brilliant and golden. They had the coolest costumes I have ever seen in any Greek mythology movie. I’m sure you’ve already seen some of them in the cool advertising posters. But everything else looked like you were watching the movie through a pane of tinted glass.
You can only see this movie two ways: 3D or IMAX 3D. Unfortunately, 3D doesn’t really add anything. Nothing jumps out at you and the setting isn’t bright enough to be highlighted. It was more annoying to keep the bulky glasses on and they distracted me more than they aided me. The best parts of “Immortals” are the action sequences. The fighting moved at a good clip and the violence was very tasteful. I never thought I would say that about any violence, but I guess I have become a little numb to all the blood now. If you can make it through the poor dialogue then the movie is actually enjoyable. You don’t need to think too hard about anything. Just sit back and enjoy the action. I would say go ahead and give this a go. Enjoy “Immortals” for what it is: a shallow and violent Greek epic.