Immortals – 2011
Directed by Tarsem Singh
Starring Henry Cavill, Freda Pinto, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz
Screenplay by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides
At the beginning of Immortals, Zeus, in his “Old Man” disguise, gives the following exposition:
“When this world was still young, long before man or beast roamed these lands, there was a war in the heavens. Immortals, once thoughts incapable of death, discovered they had the power to kill one another. Lost in this war was a weapon of unimaginable power, the Epirus bow. The victors declared themselves Gods, while the vanquished were renamed Titans and forever imprisoned within the bowels of Mount Tartarus. Eons passed, mankind flourished and the great war receded from memory. But the evil that once was has reemerged.”
So, in the first 5 minutes we find that the invincibility promised by the title is really just a bunch of words. You are immortal, until you are not, and even then, the you are not dead, just Titans stuck inside a mountain. Oh, and there is a new bad guy now…and don’t forget the bow. Yeah.
Tarsem Singh has a very unique vision for creating a visual palette in his films. At any particular time, when you freeze the frame, it stands like a painting. When you add the physiques of Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and, yes, even the ‘roided up Mickey Rourke, it’s stuff that you don’t see everyday. For the viewing of the immaculately beautiful Freida Pinto alone, it may be worth watching Immortals. Indeed, you get to see more of her than has ever been revealed before. Work of art.
Problem is, the story is all over the place, and nowhere at all. Although there is more of a coherent story-line than I have seen in an Singh storyline before, the script is still, essentially, an excuse to move from one scenic spot to the next, and back and on to another. If you have seen either of the Clash of the Titans, you have seen this before. Gods watch over humans, pontificate and then they get involved. Then they promise that is the last of their involvement, until they need to get involved again.
As for acting, one can’t say whether anything we are viewing can qualify. Mickey Rourke leads the way as Hyperion with dialogue that literally requires one to turn on the subtitles to decipher. Cavill, Dorff and Pinto seem confused most of the time. The actors who play the Gods seem depressed. Everyone who gives information to Hyperion ends up dead. Everyone he sends out to brutalize the good guys die too. John Hurt, as Zeus in Old Man disguise, looks as though he is having a good time. He enjoys these types of paychecks just like Donald Sutherland would, I suppose.
One can safely assume what they are going to get in a movie of this nature. 300 was a fluke, in that it caught an actor and director in peak form. It really wasn’t much better than Immortals, even with its Frank Miller roots. Singh was looking to make an action film “done in Renaissance painting style.” I suppose they got that. If you are looking for any of these images, or any of the loose affiliations to Greek Mythology to carry any amount of sense, you may be a little let down. My guess is not much, though.
As for that bow, it’s not really clear how it was all that awesome. One is apt to think it might have been there only for a couple of 3D shots, and that is about it.
(** out of *****)