Immortals (2011)

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Released:  Friday, November 11, 2011  
Length:  110 minutes
Studio: Relativity Media
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Rating: Immortals is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Synopsis

Immortals © Relativity Media. All Rights Reserved.
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.

The 3-D epic adventure Immortals is directed by revolutionary visualist Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and produced by Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, the producers of 300, as well as Ryan Kavanaugh (Dear John, The Dark Fields).

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Immortals Theatrical Review


For the new film Immortals directed by Tarsem Singh, looks are everything. A movie can have a lousy screenplay and uninteresting characters, but as long as the costumes are immaculate and the production design superb, then little else matters. Immortals attempts at having as much machismo as 300 but comes up quite short and has about as much mythology as The Clash of the Titans. After films like The Cell and The Fall, Tarsem clearly enjoys creating films with stunning visual but offering little else. This take on tale of Theseus, King Hyperion, and the battle between the Gods of Olympus and the long exiled Titans is no different.  It has more than enough material for the director to take liberty with but all the stuff in the middle however, is mindless noise.

After witnessing his mother's murder at the hands of King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), Theseus (Henry Cavill) vows to destroy the cruel monarch. Little does he know that the angry tyrant is planning on finding the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon that can unleash the legendary Titans from their underground prisons. The purpose of this is to bring about the end of mankind and defeat Gods such as Zeus (Luke Evans) once and for all. Hyperion raids a local monastery to find the virgin oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto) who knows of the item's location. He eventually captures Theseus as well. With the help of our hero and a thief named Stavros (Stephen Dorff), the seer escapes. She informs Theseus of his destiny and he becomes determined to prevent Hyperion from retrieving the weapon. He also will not rest until the villain is dead.

If movies can be judged on certain sections, at least part of Immortals is squeal-worthy action. Whenever swords clash, whenever our actors duke it out in incredible slow-motion mayhem, the experience is mesmerizing. Borrowing heavily from the more recent film and TV type of slaughter (lots of CG blood spray and body damage) but also avoiding the light-speed editing that turns fighting into an unwatchable frenzy, Tarsem wows us with his style. From Theseus' failed attempt to save his mother to the last act battle between the Titans and the Gods, the spectacle is beyond belief. It's great. We want more of it and are glad for a last minute hint at the possible heavenly histrionics to come.

But then the actors start speaking and Immortals loses all of its momentum, between a mishmash of bad accents, weird line readings, weak dialogue, and even more mundane emotions it is impossible for any audience member to become fully engrossed. We never once care about Theseus, the beautiful prophetic priestess, or the bloodthirsty nemesis known as Hyperion. Their motives are meaningless, reduced to empty shells in a plot that is simply moving us along to the next hyperactive beat down. While they all look the part, the actors are given nothing to do except be imagery and while it's easy to blame the script, it's actually more of a question of context. Had the director found a way to get us invested in this young man's particular quest, we would follow Immortals anywhere, it just looks that good. Unfortunately, such substance never arrives.

Perhaps a better way to say it is this: Tarsem is fantastic at creating eye-candy, great in fact. Sadly, the kind of texture he's interested in come from bright flashy colors and just wind up rubbing the mainstream movie audience member the wrong way. On the outside, Immortals is something to behold. On the inside, however, everything is dry and dull. 

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