Thursday, December 1, 2011

Immortals: a Film Review

Immortals (2011)
Directed By: Tarsem Singh
Written By: Charley Palapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Time: 1 hr 49 min
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto and Luke Evans
Plot: Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares. Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king's hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man's conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion...until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders-including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and cunning slave Stavros (Stephen Dorff)-one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his Gods vanish into legend.

Comments: There were a few things I had a grasp on before going into this film. One: Tarsem Singh makes pretty movies and his costumes are lovely which is evident if you have seen either The Fall or The Cell. And Two: Knowing your Greek myths are about as relevant as they were with the Clash of the Titans remake. My expectations were fairly low. I expected to ogle Henry Cavill’s abs, wonder why they let Mickey Rourke be in films, and completely understand why Zeus got so much play if he looked like Luke Evans. Basically I expected to be disappointed about the whole 3D thing and spending far too much money on something that really doesn’t occur and to be entertained by pretty people and pretty art direction. But I also expected the plot to be either convoluted or confusing, a lot of the whole slow-mo gore and again asking myself what Hollywood sees in Mickey Rourke.

I was entertained. I liked it. Call me weird. I am probably a small handful of people that would probably see it again. For those who do not know their Greek mythos this is probably a good thing. If it weren’t for a trident, you never would have been able to tell Kellan Lutz was Poseidon. And they definitely play it fast and loose with Theseus’s tale and yet I kinda dug it. It’s amazing how stories in just a few decades can grow and expand and grow into something legendary, let alone Greek mythos. So a Minotaur in the maze was a crazed bad guy with a bull’s head helmet. When Theseus brings out the head most would not see the human face beneath it even if they knew it to be true. Over time, you just leave out the human bits. It was a nice take on mythology, but maybe that is just me. 

I will say I love the costumes, which I know for some is going to be a big giant turnoff. Its Tarsem Singh style and I completely dug the Oracle costumes. I think probably the only distracting thing were the damn helmets for some of the Gods. Other than that they are just part of how visual Tarsem Singhs films are. Speaking of visuals…Henry Cavil is pretty. Had to say it.

The film does have its flaws, but not so many that I hated it. The casting is okay. As much as I love Stephen Dorff, his lines were laughable and I don’t think to the extent expected. Now let’s talk Mr. Rourke. Sure I am a fan of 9 ½ weeks and the Wrestler was okay, but the man phoned this one in. Hyperion lacks any depth to his character. He’s a bad guy. Whoopie. I don’t understand why? Mostly I see a lot of bigger bad asses as his henchmen while Hyperion does vaguely evil things and Mickey Rourke delivers flat dialogue. But Hyperion isn’t the only one who doesn’t make sense. We have oracles, but then we have a King who doesn’t believe in the Gods to such a point that I just rolled my eyes. I am not saying there aren’t some bad characterizations or glaring plot holes, but maybe there was enough to keep my senses happy campers. 

I know this film won’t be for everyone, but for me it was a guilty pleasure. I kinda dug it in the way that I dig Queen of the Damned or the Fright Night remake. Maybe I am just easily entertained. 

Rent/Cinema?: if you are a fan of Tarsem Singh’s films it is worth a matinee. Otherwise wait to see it when it comes to Redbox.

2.5/4 popcorns

1 comment:

BDS said...

I agree with you. One of the people at church noticed that no one ate but Hyperion and then only pomegranates and walnuts, not sure what that was about. It is a great popcorn movie, and the lady from Slumdog Millionaire was really good I thought. Plus, my favorite, Athena kicked major butt, even if she was sorta subservient. It was kinda like a mixture of Aphrodite and Athena in many ways.