July 8, 2012

Filthy Review - Immortals

Immortals (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Immortals is a movie that is cut from the same sweaty loincloth as 300 and Clash of the Titans (2011), in fact it could be said that it has taken elements of both and squeezed them into one snarling beast of a film. However, that is not necessarily a good thing. 300 brought a fresh new visual style to the sword and sandals epic, similar to Sin City, and Clash of the Titans, whilst not in itself a terrific movie, was at least a fun story for the most part. Immortals, unfortunately, falls short of the mark in comparison to the aforementioned movies, even if it does have some redeeming features.

The story of Immortals concerns the attempts of King Hyperion, played by Mickey Rourke, to obtain the Epirus Bow, a legendary weapon which will enable him to start a war between Heaven and Earth. Ownership of the Bow allows the Titans, who have been imprisoned beneath a mountain, to be set free, which will in turn spell disaster for mankind.

Enter into this wild story a peasant named Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, who lives with his mother in a small village. Here he trains in his fighting skills with the aid of an old man (John Hurt), who is, unbeknownst to Theseus, actually Zeus in disguise. After soldiers evacuate the village Theseus finds himself, along with a rag-tag group, on a mission to stop Hyperion.

The plot to Immortals is one that has been played out many times before, and quite often in a far superior manner. Where Immortals fails is that the story here is just so very bland. Cavill does not have the presence to carry the film, and is constantly overshadowed by an over-the-top performance by Rourke, and the rest of the cast is either underused, as in the case of John Hurt and Stephen Dorff, or it consists purely of clichéd character types.

Where the film does succeed though, and succeed quite well, is in the visuals and the action set-pieces. Immortals does look quite beautiful and director Tarsem Singh appears to focus on this, as if he knows the story isn’t up to much. Add in some terrific, and well-choreographed, fight scenes and the end result is a visual feast that does distract the viewer away from the film’s shortcomings, for the most part.

What Immortals does also have going for it is a very mean streak that runs through the entire movie. It really is a vicious film, in which characters die in truly horrific and gory ways. Again, this is another part of the movie that does work, with blood spraying in all directions, which just goes to confirm that the film is really aimed at viewers that are happy with a good looking and very violent movie, as there is little else to engage hear.

The Blu-ray itself does look very good, enhancing as it does the films beautiful visual style, and the sound is nigh-on thunderous even through a basic sound system.

Whether or not Immortals warrants a recommendation relies completely on what is demanded from a movie. There is no depth to any aspect of the movie, aside from the color palette, so the reliance is on whether visuals alone can sell the film, and in that department it succeeds with flying colors.

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