Immortals * * 1/2

Genre: Fantasy

Director: Tarsem Singh

Writers: Charles Parlapanides & Vlas Parlapanides

Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt

Running Length: 110 minutes

Synopsis: Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares. 

Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man’s conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion, until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope.

Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders – including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and cunning slave Stavros (Stephen Dorff) – one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his Gods vanish into legend. 

Review: It is undeniable that Immortals is a visually gorgeous film – this really comes as no surprise since the director is Tarsem Singh, who has helmed two breathtakingly beautiful movies prior to Immortals (The Cell and The Fall). If you’re looking for a film with eye candy, Immortals has that in spades – every visual aspect is immaculate, from the magnificent digitally-created locales (Greece seems to be composed entirely of cities carved out of mountains and villages residing on precipitous cliffs) to the Oscar-worthy costumes designed by Eiko Ishioka, and the sumptuous colours employed to great effect in many scenes, this is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing films I have seen in years.

Even the action sequences are choreographed with a hyper-realistic sensibility. Rarely has blood and brains splattering looked so interesting and beautiful, although it can really be too much to take in at times, especially when viewing the film in 3D. However, it must be said that the implementation of 3D in Immortals is pretty accomplished, and subtly enhances the look and feel of the movie.

Yet, Immortals’ beauty is really only skin deep. The storyline is weak and uninspired, taking liberties with Greek mythology and at times not really making much sense at all. Various scenes seem to be building up to something greater, but never really go anywhere. There’s virtually no character development, and some of the Greek gods are given such inexplicably short screen times that it almost seems blasphemous. Thankfully the cast is good looking and distracts somewhat from their one-dimensionality – the men are all muscle and machismo, whereas the women (Freida Pinto in particular) are curvaceous and gorgeous.   

When compared with recent films in a similar vein, Immortals does not surpass what has been achieved by 300, but is far better than Clash of the Titans. However, it scores a perfect ten in terms of looks, and if one’s expectations are adjusted accordingly, could be worth the time in the cinema.

Rating: **1/2 (out of four stars)

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