Sunday, November 13, 2011

Immortals - Movie Review

Here's a time where I admit to coming into this one with a bias.  Immortals was directed by Tarsem Singh, who I really like.  Tarsem Singh directed The Cell, The Fall (which I loved!), and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror.  The stories may not be the greatest, but they are always a visual treat.  Immortals, for better or worse, follows a similar pattern.

The story in Immortals is pretty basic.  Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has basically declared war on everyone and is searching for a weapon called the Epirus Bow, which he needs to release the Titans in order to overthrow the Gods as well.

You then have Theseus (Henry Cavill), a peasant who initially is just trying to get his mother and friends to safety, but when his mother is killed by Hyperion, he then sets out to stop Hyperion.

Without getting into details, that's pretty much all there is to the story.  It's a pretty basic fantasy epic.  There aren't any twists and I can't say that they do anything particularly interesting with the story.  For that reason, it's actually kind of boring.  Immortals is under two hours long, but they really could have tightened this up by a good 15 minutes and you wouldn't have lost anything as far as storytelling.

When there isn't any fighting going on, Immortals really drags.  However, when there is fighting, this movie was awesome!  Here's where Singh's visual style really came into play.  It's hyper-violent and bloody and you'll likely compare this to 300 and Zack Snyder.  I think Singh takes it up a notch though.  The action scenes are the types where you'll be going 'ohhh!' or 'damn!' in the middle of it.  If you were watching this at home, you'll hit rewind a few times and watch them again.

Again, this is where the pacing of the movie was really a shame.  If they had cut the run time a few minutes and maybe had one more action sequence in there somewhere, it would have been so much more entertaining.  The action is easily the best part of the film and a little more of it would have been a good thing.  As you'd expect with a Tarsem Singh movie, the visual style of the movie is great.  It's very colorful and the effects were used well.

One reason why I'm glad I watched Immortals was that I got a chance to Henry Cavill in something recent.  As many of you know, he will be Superman in Zack Snyder's upcoming Man of Steel.  If Cavill can nail an American accent, and there's no reason why to think he couldn't, then I think they cast Superman well.  He showed in Immortals that he had the right look, can lead a film, and can be convincing in action scenes.  Hopefully Zack Snyder doesn't pull a Sucker Punch and blow it, but I'm much more optimistic now.

It's funny to see that Mickey Rourke basically said Immortals was not a 'Marvel piece of crap.'  I guess he doesn't look too fondly on his experience with Iron Man 2, but the irony is that I would say Immortals is worse than a 'Marvel piece of crap.'  Immortals doesn't have any of the heart or humor of the Marvel offerings we got this year.

How as Rourke, by the way?  He was okay.  I felt like he just kind of plodded his way through the movie and I didn't really care about him one way or another.  The rest of the cast, while not bad, I also felt the same about.  I could have taken or left anyone in the cast.  I liked Luke Evans and Zeus, John Hurt as the old mentor and Freida Pinto as the virgin oracle.  Even Stephen Dorff wasn't bad.  I just don't think they were given enough to do, but I blame this more on the writing/dialog though.

Immortals was written by Charley and Vlad Parlapanides and I think this is where it really came up short.  It's only loosely based on Greek mythology, so if you're expecting something that's more accurate to the original myths, then look somewhere else.  I don't mind people doing a different take or doing their own thing with them, but it needs to be done well.  It's just not a very good story.

Oh, as the genre of the movie applies, I get to bring back the boob/rape/murder counter:

Boobs:  At least two pairs.
Rapes:  None seen, but one is mentioned.
Murders (by beheading):  I lost count!

Lastly, I saw Immortals it in 3D and it worked well in parts, but it's not necessary to see it in 3D.

I didn't think Immortals was bad.  I definitely enjoyed the look of the film and the action sequences.  I just wish the quality of the story matched that of the visuals.  I'd put this as better than Clash of the Titans, but not quite as entertaining as 300.  If this is your genre, then I think you'd enjoy it enough as a matinee.  Anyone else, I'd say to save it for rental.

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