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Immortals (A Movie Review)



Starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Luke Evans, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, John Hurt, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Joseph Morgan, Peter Stebbings, Robert Maillet, Steve Byers, Mark Margolis, Corey Sevier, Stephen McHattie, Alan Van Sprang, Greg Bryk and Danny Blanco Hall.

Screenplay by Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides.

Directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar.

Distributed by Relativity Media.  110 minutes.  Rated R.

Tarsem Singh, the director behind the 2000 visual mindfuck The Cell, is well known for his eccentric and beautifully elaborate and surreal visual style.  Of course, for as beautiful and fascinating as that movie was, very few people have ever said that it was very good.

He had only made one other film between that movie and this one – the completely overlooked The Fall in 2006.

Therefore, The Immortals is his big comeback attempt, a huge and gorgeous look at ancient Greece and mythology.  (He does seem to be in the middle of a creative flurry now, he is following up this film with the upcoming Julia Roberts Snow White retelling Mirror Mirror.)

And as you might imagine, Immortals looks totally spectacular.  Gorgeous, overwhelming sets and CGI backgrounds give Immortals a definitely feel of majesty.

Sadly, just like The Cell, it’s the story that lets him down.  In fact, this story is significantly less entertaining than his earlier film.

Immortals actually tells pretty much the same type of story that Clash of the Titans did two years ago (as well as the daft mythological sections of Thor) and tells it no more compellingly than those two duds.

Greek myths have been told for thousands of years, you would think the screenwriters would be able to come up with more than just another generic sword and sorcery saga that substitutes bloody beheadings for character development.

But, no, instead we just have to plod through scene after scene of ridiculous violence, where the bad-guys allow our hero to kill them one-by-one in an impossibly choreographed ballet of death.  Even if the movie poster didn’t say “From the producers of 300,” it would be impossible to miss the blatant thievery from that way-too-similar film.

Henry Carvill, a hot name because he has been chosen as the next Superman in Man of Steel, does not make an overly good impression, or much of one at all, in his first chance at helming a major picture.  We can still hope the Superman movie will have a better script, though.

As the bad guy, Mickey Rourke chews scenery mightily.  In fact, essentially, he is playing the exact same role he played in Iron Man 2.  Hard to believe he worked his way back to stardom with The Wrestler just two years ago for this.

Immortals turns out to be a failure of style over substance.  For as much style as it has – and the film is rather eye-popping – the story lets it down left and right.  Immortals is – as the bard once said – “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Alex Diamond

Copyright ©2012 All rights reserved. Posted: March 6, 2012.

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