FilmNovember 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

The Immortals Falls Short of Epic

The makers of 300 return with more half-naked warriors.

 

Let the olive branch be a symbol of peace. Wait, there is no peace in Sparta… I mean Greece. The Immortals, directed by Tarsem Singh, contains epic proportions of blood, guts and violence: a wannabe 300. Any modicum of peace can only be obtained through war, making legends out of men. For The Immortals, this man is Theseus.

Theseus (Cavill) is a peasant, who has been trained to fight by Zeus, the king of the gods (a second–time–around Luke Evans, who played Apollo in Clash of the Titans). Forced to become a slave to King Hyperion, the sadistic and repulsive villain who has slain his mother, Theseus finds himself in the presence of the great virgin oracle, Phaedra. Phaedra (Pinto) is the only person who knows where the infamous Bow of Epirus — the key to King Hyperion’s quest for immortality — is hidden.

A search begins for this mysterious item and, along the way, viewers see how immortality differs between gods and men. While the gods are actually immortal, Theseus, the chosen defender of the gods, becomes immortalized through his lasting legacy. In contrast, King Hyperion (a horrifying Mickey Rourke) believes that his immortality can be obtained through his blood, by impregnating every woman he can and ensuring that his seed is passed on. To do this, he graphically emasculates each of his followers and seeks to destroy every woman who is pregnant with another man’s child. It is Theseus’ goal to defeat King Hyperion and secure the future of Greece.

These different concepts of immortality are visually portrayed using stimulating computer graphic techniques. The result is a beautiful rendering by Singh, as seen in his previous film, The Fall. The colors are vibrant, the action is constant yet slows down when appropriate and the power of the gods is felt through an inventive and pounding soundscape. At one point, Zeus is walking toward Theseus, and viewers can hear the thunder in his footsteps.

Another stimulation for the senses is the attractive people in the film. How one can fight without a shirt baffles the mind — not that we’re complaining.  This provides the main distraction from the needless blood being spilt every five minutes. Nausea and disgust are paired with awe–struck wonder at the virility of these warriors. Though The Immortals will not be immortalized in film history, the legend of the pec will continue.

 

2/5 stars
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Freida Pinto, Stephen Dorff, and Luke Evans.
Directed By: Tarsem Singh
Rated R, 110 min.
See if you liked: Clash of the Titans (2010)

 
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