Immortals – The Anti-Climactic Epic

Immortals (in 3D) comes out today and I had a chance to catch the preview screening. Considering the movie is basically being sold on the success of 300, it would have been hard for Immortals to live up to peoples expectations.

With a few killer CGI fight scenes and a lot of recycled 300 camera angles, Immortals is just entertaining enough to make it worth checking out in 3D… but just barely.

[Minimal spoilers]

Immortals makes some gorgeous use of the cgi fighting seen in 300. The bullet-time sequences capture a lot of what you want from this movie: high impact graphic violence. There is also a good deal of realism worked in to the way bodies are crushed and torn apart, with plenty of savage brutality to appease fans of 300. The Gods, in particular Helios (I think? the one with the large spikes on his head) have AMAZING fight sequences that demonstrate their super human abilities. I also loved some of the use of cgi with 3D, such as the ‘cloaks’ the Gods wrap themselves in to take their true forms.
The casting was hit and miss, but there were some brilliant choices made. Mickey Rourke, who I hadn’t realized played a major role as the evil Hyperion, was fantastic; he’s become a master of delivering passionate performances in characters who register little to no emotion. I also adore the lead Henry Cavill (Tudors) who pretty much carried the movie for the rest of the characters.My biggest issue is with the female lead, played by Freida Pinto. The opening scene is completely left to her to sell, and it doesn’t even come close. I don’t recall any emotion registering on her face until almost halfway through the film, and anti-climactic dialogue doesn’t help the situation. Most of the other cast members were equally forgettable.

Anti-climactic is actually a good word to sum up the movie. Only a very few of the fight scenes really had teeth, and I’m absolutely confused as to the choices made in shooting the huge fight scenes at the end. Particularly the ‘tunnel’ – which really put 300 on my brain, given the battle set up – became a confused choreography of dark shapes and blurry gore. The ending also played out too long, with a conclusion I’m sure will have most people rolling their eyes.

Even if you end up enjoying this luke warm ‘epic’, any movie using ‘from the producers of 300‘ as their tout line should deliver a lot more. A more up front selling point for this movie would be its director, Tarsem Singh who debuted with The Cell (that Jennifer Lopez movie). There are a couple places where Immortals echoes that dark and disturbing mythology we glimpsed in that film.
All in all, how to fix Immortals? More Gods, more Gods fighting, more Gods fighting mortals, more Gods using crazy weapons, more heads getting smashed, and more Henry Cavill.

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