Director: Tarsem Singh
Ummm…so… some evil King named Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is looking for a magical bow (created by the Gods) so he can free some weirdos trapped in a box with a metal pole in their mouths. End game? End of humanity. Alas for him, peasant Theseus (Henry Cavill) gets into the mix and in the way of that lofty goal. Oh and a bunch of Gods look down from the heavens at the fiasco and eventually jump in there as well. Let the CGI blood flow!
Nobody can accuse director Tarsem Singh of not having a novel visual style. I remember being blown away by his first feature THE CELL back in the year 2000; the imagery was simply freaking insane! And I expected the same type of retina stroking from his third feature IMMORTALS (Singh also did The Fall in 2006, I never saw it). And it’s pretty much what I got, although with varied results. Looking back at IMMORTALS; three things stood out in terms of positives.
First off; the cast classed this joint up! Henry Cavill made for a compelling lead, even though the script gave him little to do other than look good shirtless, have a sex scene and f*ck people up. He had an earnestness about him that I found endearing and the camera loved his ass (not literally but ya know what I mean). To be honest, all I kept thinking while I was watching him in this was: He’ll make for a GREAT Superman (in 2013 Man of Steel of course). Dude had a very Christopher Reeve-ish look and he seemed to have the innate qualities one needs to BE a solid Superman on film. On his end Mickey Rourke came through too and then some. All hail Rourke! He can take a small and thin role like this one and elevate it to wow status with his hypnotizing charisma and raw talent. Rourke was so distinct here (as per usual) that I was able to tell the difference between Rourke behind a mask and his body double behind that same mask. You can’t mimic The Rourke yo! Other thespians that grabbed my crotch were Luke Evans as Zeus (dug his look and the way he emoted), Freida Pinto as Phaedra (who was likable and quite the looker) and of course Stephen “Deacon Frost” Dorff as Stavros; cause, well Stephen Dorff being Stephen Dorff is a role he excels in and one that I cherish.
Then there was the gore. For the first half hour or so, I actually thought the flick was PG-13 i.e. rivers were running dry. But I was brutally corrected with the plasma party that followed. DAMNNNNN! Yes the bloodshed was CGI madness but it still hit the spot in its sheer excessiveness. Peeps got royally f*cked up in this movie! Am talking skulls crushed, mucho impalings, swords in the face (yes...THE FACE) and slow motion blood splats dancing all over the place. There’s no way this sucka would have gotten an R if the blood was practical, no way. Finally; Tarsem’s LSD inspired visuals and the kooky "trip out" production designs that backed it up gave me an eyeful when they worked in the film's favor. Kinetic shots, well choreographed/shot fight sequences, inventive scene transitions, slow motion with oomph, grandiose special effects and some pretty…ummm… unique costumes/set designs. When it comes to the latter; think Renaissance paintings meets Expressionism meets a Gay Pride parade! Yeah, never heard that one before either. Which brings me to what bugged me…
I found myself laughing at the picture now and again. Although some of the wild costumes worked for me (like Zeus’ battle gear), others didn’t (that dude with the spikes on his head or Mickey Rourke’s silly plastic teeth helmet) and that resulted in hilarity. There’s a fine line between cool and stupid or macho and effeminate and Immortals sometimes crossed that line. A perfect example would be Kellan Lutz as Poseidon. Every time he popped onscreen, I was in stitches. Was it his big nipples or his gay porn actor look? YES! That aint no God! More like a guy singing YMCA on a float. And what was up with the shitty green screen work? All that money and they still can't make it look as if the decor is really there. Makes no sense to me! With that spat; the main problem at hand was the lackluster script (which yes was a blatant rip-off of key elements from 300 and Clash of the Titans). The drama was one note, so were the characters/relationships, the narrative progression was clumsy and the closest I came to feeling anything was when Zeus looked so pissed/tortured that his eyes watered. Moreover, there were some mild pacing issues. A good 15 to 20 minutes could have been shaved off this fucko; the middle section kind of lagged, taking its time to tell its non-story, story. Thankfully, the finale went buck nuts on the fights and red grub, so I left the cinema on a good note.
PS: The 3D was of the Post Conversion variety, and the final frames aside, it did not augment my experience. Save your dough!
So all in all; IMMORTALS was a decent way to kill two hours. It had a bang on cast, mucho splatter and some visually arresting bits. Alas its script was mundane, the flick dragged in places and unintentional laughter was in the house. I doubt the flick will stay with me for long. I say: immortalize it on DVD!
The CGI gore was pretty cool! We get swords in the face, beheadings, crushed skulls/bodies/limbs, impalings and more! The more the flick clocked forward, the gorier it got, trust me the last 20 minutes or so was a blood bath.
T & A
The close up of Freida Pinto’s bare ass was art in motion. I’d frame it if I could catch it! She also showed off her boobies. Everybody else gets all kinds of fit shirtless dudes, so enjoy!
It's 300 meets Clash of the Titans meets a Gay Pride parade by way of a CG blood drenched abattoir! IMMORTALS had a singular visual style, some nifty costumes/sets, brutality galore and a badass cast (Henry Cavill will be a tops Superman... I said it!). Too bad the script was of the connect the dots variety, the characters/drama was flat, the middle section lagged a tad and some of the wilder ideas resulted in me giggling like a school girl sniffing too much glue in between cocaine lines. i dug it less than 300 but more than the Clash remake. Do with that what you will... laterz!
The flick was shot at the Cité du Cinéma, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
It cost about $75,000,000 to make.
It was initially titled War of the Gods.