Immortals

Immortals is not a good movie, despite a game effort by Henry Cavill and Luke Evans. This is partly because Mickey Rourke made no effort and was terribly cast.

Avoid this movie, no matter how intriguing it may seem.

Here’s a trailer (with apologies for the incoherence of the trailer; the film isn’t much different):


The deets:

Released November 11, 2011

Written by Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides

Directed by Tarsem Singh

Starring Freida Pinto, Anne Day-Jones, Isabel Lucas, Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Luke Evans, Steven Dorff, John Hurt, and Kellan Lutz

Rated: R

*     *     *     *     *

Story

Gonna give this a go, but the film is so poorly thought-out that putting the plot into a coherent summary will be difficult.

Here goes.

Eons ago, there was a war. The victors proclaimed themselves gods over the people of Earth and the losers were called titans and were trapped in a cage in a mountain with rebar in their mouths. This is Greek stuff, so the gods are Zeus (Evans), Athena (Lucas) etc.

Today, there is a mad, powerful king called Hyperion (Rourke) who is laying waste to all of the civilized world in a bid to gain power over a mighty bow that he can use to free the titans and then kill the gods. Ostensibly so he can rule the world he is destroying.

A peasant named Theseus (Cavill) lives in a strange village carved into a rock shelf in a cliff near the ocean. He lives with his mother (Day-Jones) and has been guided and trained by an old man (Hurt), who may or may not be Zeus in human form. How Zeus selected Theseus as a protege- we don’t know.

Theseus is an impressive fighter and has no fear; his only loyalty is to his mother. And then Hyperion kills Theseus’ mother and now Theseus, who previously had no desire to fight, is out for blood.

So Theseus goes on a roundabout quest to catch up to Hyperion and/or the Greek armies. This quest carries him into brief slavery, where he luckily finds a beautiful virgin (for not much longer) oracle (Pinto), who tries to guide Theseus toward his destiny. Theseus also inspires a mercenary-type group of slaves to join him, chief among them being Stavros (Dorff).

Then, for some reason, Theseus is in a maze-like place and is set upon by a huge man dressed as a minotaur. A battle ensues and Theseus wins, of course, and finds the powerful bow that Hyperion wants.

In the background of all this, a Greek traitor is for some reason helping Hyperion and they come into possession of the bow after some tribulation.

Then we’re with the Greek armies as they try to keep Hyperion from making his way into the mountain where the titans are captive. Theseus is somehow leading the Greek armies and he has to stop Hyperion. But the titans are freed and the gods descend to fight the titans and then there’s a lot of dying.

Blood splatters throughout, at great length.

Critique

Let’s start with the incoherent plot. For much of the film, we are unsure of what Theseus is trying to do. We’re also confused by gods who are clearly capricious and are likely the worst beings in the universe. Seriously, why didn’t the victors, who made themselves gods, just kill all the titans long ago, since they’re clearly willing to do so now? What was the point of trapping them? These gods certainly have no compunction about slaying them when the mythology hits the fan later in the in movie.

Hyperion is also a complete waste of character. He’s stupidly cruel and is leaving a world that isn’t worth ruling in his wake. There is no apparent reason for much of the awful stuff that he does. What’s more, Rourke clearly has no clue what is going on and essentially dozes throughout the movie.

Then there’s the oracle. She goes from mystical conduit of universal wisdom who must remain pure to exhibitionist lover pretty darn fast. And then she’s forgotten.

Don’t forget that the rulers of the Greek people are conveniently stupid and don’t act like any actual person with sense– so that Theseus can assume the reins of power and lead the army to victory.

Now add the splattering blood, graphic cruelty, at times too-slow-motion action, and all of this done with no style.

What we have here is a bunch of plot contrivances pasted onto Henry Cavill’s extraordinary torso and jaw and a wing and a prayer. Henry Cavill does his best, but nobody could save this flick.

And the movie was ‘successful.’

Don’t watch this movie.

Content warnings: Some sexuality and nudity along with a lot of splattery violence

Writing: 1          Acting: 2.5         Overall: 1.5

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