US Release Date: 11-11-2011
Directed by: Tarsem Singh
- Henry Cavill, as
- Mickey Rourke, as
- King Hyperion
- Stephen Dorff, as
- Freida Pinto, as
- Luke Evans, as
- John Hurt, as
- Old Man
- Joseph Morgan, as
- Anne Day-Jones, as
- Greg Bryk, as
- The Monk
- Alan Van Sprang, as
- Peter Stebbings, as
- Daniel Sharman, as
- Isabel Lucas, as
- Kellan Lutz, as
- Steve Byers, as
- Stephen McHattie, as
- Romano Orzari, as
- Corey Sevier as
Henry Cavill shows off his form as Theseus in Immortals.
Immortals is yet another highly stylized/CGI’d to the hilt action movie set in the ancient world. It features plenty of slow-mo sword and axe fighting, in which blood and gore spatter poetically across the screen. It has the added double attraction of the gorgeous Freida Pinto as Phaedra, a scantily clad virgin oracle, and the incredibly diesel Henry Cavill as the constantly bare-chested Theseus. As eye candy it doesn’t disappoint.
Theseus is a mortal peasant secretly chosen by Zeus to battle the evil King Hyperion in 13th Century B.C. Greece. The King (Mickey Rourke at his scenery chewing best) is searching for a mythical weapon called the Epirus Bow. With it he can conquer not just the world of Men but also, by freeing the legendary Titans, will be able to challenge the Gods themselves.
The Gods are given explicit orders from Zeus not to interfere with the wars of mankind. Poseidon, Athena and Apollo, however, are unable to resist. All of which leads to a climactic battle within the walls of Mount Tartaros where the Titans have been imprisoned for eons.
The acting is better than you might expect in a sword and sorcery epic. John Hurt and Luke Evans do double duty as Zeus, Evans in his true form and Hurt in his guise as an old man that advises Theseus. The two leads, Cavill and Pinto, are not just fine physical specimens they are also talented enough actors to sustain the somewhat overwrought drama. While Mickey Rourke, pulling out all the stops as the sadistically cruel King Hyperion, creates a truly memorable and scary villain.
The 3D gimmick is completely unnecessary and adds nothing to the movie, other than the annoyance of having to wear those dark glasses that make it look like the entire theater is filled with Roy Orbison impersonators. Also, although it should surprise no one, the movie plays fast and loose with the legend of Theseus, which like most Greek myths had to do with a personal quest filled with separate adventures. Theseus is perhaps most famous for killing the Minotaur (depicted in the movie as a man in a mask under orders from King Hyperion).
Immortals delivers pretty much just what you would expect from a modern Hollywood take on an ancient legend. It provides plenty of action, special effects and hot bodies to ogle but proves ultimately to be all spectacle with very little substance.
Luke Evans as Zeuss and Anne Day-Jones as Athena in Immortals.
This movie does play fast and loose with Greek mythology, which is disappointing. The most interesting characters in it are the Gods, but the writers have given them a very Christian policy of non-interference here. Any one who knows the myths of Olympus, knows that the Gods couldn't stop interfering with mortals. Zeus was always fooling around with one mortal or another and they certainly never bothered with worrying about mortal free will. They were always happy to trick humans into doing their bidding.
Really the only thing Immortals has going for it are the visuals. Each scene is carefully laid out and many of them look like panels lifted directly from a graphic novel. It really is stunning to watch. One side effect to the visuals is that logic often takes a back seat to the look of the film. When we first meet Theseus he is chopping wood at the base of a cliff for no apparent reason other than that it looks good. And why, other than because it looks dramatic, is his village carved out of the side of a cliff?
Is it really so hard to make a movie that both looks and sounds good? The script and the dialogue are so poor that I almost wish they'd made this a silent movie.
I didn't find the acting to be anything special. John Hurt has that amazing voice of his and Frieda Pinto is hot (although that's a body double during the sex scene). Henry Cavill, while buff, is quite dull. Stephen Dorff has more personality in the supporting role than Cavill has in the lead. Mickey Rourke does chew the scenery, but some actors just shouldn't appear in historical films and Rourke is one of them.
You're right Patrick. As eye candy, Immortals doesn't disappoint, but in every other way it does.
Phaedra deciding it is time to lose her virginity.
Patrick is right. Immortals is all spectacle with very little substance. It tries hard to make some statement on immortality. If you are famous, or infamous, then you too can become immortal. This film even goes so far as to state that merely having offspring can make one immortal. As punishment for being a traitor, one soldier is made impotent so as he will not have any children who will keep his memory alive. It is truly a leg crossing scene.
Like Scott, I was bothered by the treatment of the ancient Greek Gods. Of course they meddled with humans. That was what they did. In the film, Theseus is a bastard from an unknown human father. In the real legend he is the son of the married queen of Athens and Posiedon. Theseus is one of many Demi-Gods created by horny mythological Gods screwing around with humans. Perhaps the writers were trying to avoid comparisons to Hercules or Perseus from The Clash of the Titans as they were both Demi Gods, but the writers strayed to far from the original source.
The only thing that in any way relates to the actual Theseus of legend and the Theseus in this movie is that the movie's Theseus kills a man dressed as a Minotaur, while the Theseus of Greek mythology killed an actual Minotaur. Everything else in this entire film has nothing what-so-ever to do with the original story. Theseus killed many mythological beasts and bed many women. He married more than once. One of his wives' was even the Queen of the Amazons, Hyppolyta. You know, Wonder Woman's mom. He had the hots for Helen but he got stuck in Hades for awhile so she went to Sparta to marry a temperamental king. You know the rest of that story. He even had several children.
Why did the writers even bother to call this character "Theseus" if they were just going to completely rewrite the character? The point of the film is that somethings are immortal, such as the story of Theseus, only this is not his story. This is some one else's story that will not live nearly as long as the actual original story of Theseus. Too bad Greece does not own the rights to this character, so they could sue the film makers. Zeus knows they could use the money.
Immortals is entertaining enough to look at. The action scenes deliver but the acting is bland. I never felt anything between Theseus and Phaedra. She has sex with him only so as to lose her one important quality? Afterwards she and Theseus act no more loving toward each other than they did before. It is a pointless, unromantic and rather dull sex scene. Pinto is hot but she does little else but pray and stare. Cavill is buff but only gets the job done in the action scenes. I hope he fairs better as Superman, or it will be the second legendary character he helped destroy.
Photos © Copyright Relativity Media (2011)