Today: February 27, 2024

Immortals DVD

The Greek myths and legends are so on trend right now.

The Greek
myths and legends are so on trend
right now.
Clash Of The Titans may have been critically
bashed but with impressive CG and blockbuster effects, it at least proved that
these timeless tales of gods and monsters can be realised in a way never before
seen. And now Immortals is the perfect example of this, with director Tarsem Singh’s trademark stunning
visuals and inventive style bringing Zeus and co to life in breathtaking
opulence. It’s just a shame about everything else.

Henry
Cavill
plays Theseus, an outcast among his village for being the bastard
product of his mother’s rape, but also a skilled warrior and heroic figure
thanks to the lifelong guidance of the mysterious John Hurt. When the tyrannical King Hyperion leads his army on a
bloodthirsty march across Greece in search of the Epirus Bow, a weapon that
will unleash the titans and wipe out both humans and gods, it is up to Theseus
to stop him.

It’s a swords ‘n’ sandals epic that plays very much like the traditional
Greek legend movies of decades past, such as Jason And The Argonauts, with the gods overlooking the affairs of
mankind and struggling with an ancient law to not intervene. But replacing
special effects whiz Ray Harryhausen’s
spectacular stop-motion monsters
is a magnificent blend of glowing backdrops, striking set designs, immensely creative
costumes and extremely effective use of super slow-mo during some hugely
imaginative fight choreography.

But all the luxurious beauty onscreen can’t make up for a clunky script
that fails to sparkle in any way. For the most part, the plot seems confusing
or conflicting, with scenes linked together in such a way that it is difficult
to follow how much time has lapsed between them. Also, for a story that
proclaims to traverse across all of Greece, events only ever seem to take place
in the same or similar small locations, which diminishes the epic nature of the
plot.

Henry Cavill at least lives up to his heroic status, bearing the role of
mankind’s saviour with such aplomb that it’s easy to see how well he will fit
into Superman’s cape and boots in
next year’s Man Of Steel. However,
the script doesn’t allow him to live up to his potential and, when, for example,
Theseus somehow finds time to have a conversation in the middle of a battle,
surrounded by people trying to kill him, the peril he faces is considerably
cheapened.

Most of all, however, the film suffers from a near incomprehensible
register of unknown characters, places and artefacts. Differing as it does to
the stories told in the already filmed Greek myths and legends, including Clash Of The Titans, Immortals tells a
story unknown to its audience and yet expects us to keep up with a plot that it
doesn’t fully establish to begin with. Why should we care about Frieda Pinto having visions of the
future? Where does the Epirius Bow come from? How can the titans destroy the gods?

And so, while the film remains visually sumptuous and glorious in its
design, ultimately it is derivative and unsatisfying. A gods’ feast for the
eyes, but far from sublime.

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