Brainless ‘Immortals’ is still a skull crushing, blood splattering mythological spectacle
Tarsem Singh’s Immortals is gorgeous looking junk food entertainment. The eye-popping visuals will keep your eyes glued to the screen, and that’s a good thing. Should you take a minute and listen to what’s going on, you may cringe.
Immortals follows the 300 recipe for success, and that means lots of bone crushing, copious bloodshed, and more homoeroticism than a gay porn flick. The result is a grand spectacle best enjoyed by shutting the brain down for two hours.
The film wastes no time getting down to business. After a silly opening prologue explaining the now commenced war of immortals vs. mortals, we are introduced to the peasant Theseus (Henry Cavill), who is trying to make sure his mother is taken to safety, as they are evacuating the village from impending evil.
That evil they speak of comes in the form of King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), a merciless ruler hell bent on locating the Epirus Bow. It holds the power to unleash the mighty titans, ancient deities trapped in a cell that can wreck unholy havoc if emancipated by the wrong person. Thus, Hyperion calls for every village to be ransacked and the inhabitants slaughtered, until this magical instrument is located.
What the evil king didn’t count on was Theseus, a fearless warrior who has been unknowingly trained since youth by the god Zeus (Luke Evans), who has masqueraded as a human. When the oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto) helps Theseus escape from slavery, the race is on to find the bow and build an army before it falls into the hands of Hyperion.
The last movie I saw from director Singh was The Cell, a trippy serial killer flick that followed Jennifer Lopez through the mind of a madman. Over ten years later, some things never change. Immortals features more than it’s share of intoxicating, over the top visual acrobatics. But like The Cell, the story is uber thin, and Singh can barely piece it together, which means the movie falters at points.
The actors are merely part of Singh’s eye candy opus, but that’s actually permissible when it comes to a film like this. Cavill, ripped and half naked most of the time, carries enough machismo and rage to produce a compelling hero. Rourke is appropriately evil as well, but rest of the cast including Pinto, Steven Dorff, and Kellan Lutz, are just glistening bodies and perfectly chiseled torsos.
Immortals brings on the violence, so its audience will appreciate all of the numbing dismemberments, eye gougings, and impalings. One highly uncomfortable moment involves a sledgehammer and a man’s genitals. You do the math. Still, by the time the climactic battle rolls around, you may have already entered severed-head-overload.
In the end, Immortals is not a bad film, and it’s hardly bereft of creativity. In a sense, it’s exactly the kind of brainless mythological adventure that the 2010 dud Clash of the Titans should have been.
Still, even the most stunning imagery and gorgeous Greek gods can’t save a script this bad.