By Chris Rebholz

Mar 20, 2012 03:15 PM EST


Immortals 3D Blu-ray Review

Immortals plays like the illegitimate offspring of 300 and Clash of the Titans.

Immortals plays like the illegitimate offspring of 300 and Clash of the Titans, but while it is far better than the latter, it falls short of the former. With this film a weak narrative is overshadowed by showy visuals. Immortals uses Greek mythology as a jumping-off point, but any resemblance to the classic tales are fleeting. The writers behind the movie have crafted their own legend without being constrained by stories of the "real" Theseus or the "real" Olympians.
The underlying premise of Immortals is that, following a bloody war in which the Gods (led by Zeus) triumphed, the Titans were imprisoned deep beneath Mount Taratarus. King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has lost his faith in the goodness of the Gods (they allowed his wife and child to perish) and wants to re-ignite the battle. To do so, he must obtain the Epirus Bow, which has long been lost to men and immortals. He seeks out the virgin oracle Phaedra (Frieda Pinto), believing she can "see" its location. Before Phaedra is delivered into his hands, however, she gains the protection of Theseus (Henry Cavill), a warrior who seeks revenge against Hyperion for killing his mother. Accompanied by the rogue Stavros (Stephen Dorff), Theseus and Phaedra quest for the bow to prevent Hyperion for obtaining it and releasing the titans. Meanwhile, Zeus (Luke Evans) and his fellow Olympians can merely look on, as they are constrained by a Gods' Prime Directive from acting directly to influence the lives of men.
Visually, with its artistic images of carnage (sometimes in slow motion), detailed settings, and over-the-top instances of machismo, Immortals strongly recalls 300, and one cannot imagine the synergy being anything other than intentional. The director has a more interesting sense of style (although he uses shadow and darkness) than Zack Snyder, but he never captures the explosion of lusty, bloody grandeur at the same visceral level. 300 provided a rush that Immortals strives for but never quite achieves. A rousing speech delivered by Theseus before a major battle recalls similar orations by Henry V and William Wallace but is delivered with the scenery-chewing gusto of Gerald Butler's King Leonidas.
No one at the helm of this film want viewers to pay close attention to the story, which is a flimsy means by which he can justify the orgy of carnage, the extravaganza of epic clashes, and the deconstruction of the gods and titans. The Olympians come across as all-too-human (with Zeus occasionally disguising himself as John Hurt) and the Titans look suspiciously like escapees from Peter Jackson's Mordor. Immortals is intended to be experienced on a level that doesn't require an excess of thought. To that end, the hero is well-muscled and manly (one has less difficulty associating Henry Cavill with Superman after seeing this), the leading lady is gorgeous, the villain is detestable and the insistent, throbbing score is perfectly fitted to the film's look. Immortals never ceases to radiate intensity.
The same hyper-stylized, comic book-come-to-life approach that created an invigorating experience for viewers of 300 elevates Immortals above the level of a Clash of the Titans knock-off. The 3-D is better than what we have often seen, perhaps because of the high quotient of special effects that allows it to be more easily applied. The film is as faithful to Greek mythology as Thor is to tales of the Norse Gods, but it ultimately doesn't matter. The goal is to give viewers an experience a little different from the norm and, to that end, it is accomplished. 
Arriving now on 3D DVD the film still carries the same explosive weight it did on the screen, as long as your home screen is 46 inches or bigger. The 3D on the DVD isn't bad as it allows for the explosive viscera of each battle to feel more engrossing, but for the film on the whole it doesn't add much. As for extras there aren't many to speak, only two in fact. One is a short about the making of the film and the other is just some deleted scenes which add nothing to the overall plot. 
So for the first big drop of the season, Immortals isn't a bad one and as always it gives us something to do until The Avengers hits in May.

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