Written by Charley Parlapanides & Vlas Parlapanides
Directed by Tarsem Singh
Running Time: 1:50
Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence, and a scene of sexuality.
Immortals was a visually entertaining film that had a great battle sequence to end the movie, but was really slow the rest of the time.
Before the dawn of man, Immortals - who as it turns out weren't really immortal - battled it out for supremacy. The winners became Gods, while the losers, known as the Titans, were banished to Earth to live in a prison forever. But as man grew more and more powerful, King Hyperion was no longer satisfied with how life was going and made it his mission to release the Titans so that they may defeat the Gods. To do so, he needed a special bow with which he can open the Titan's prison. But while brutally searching the country, he comes upon Theseus and kills his mother. Theseus, unbeknownst to anyone, has been taught by the might God Zeus how to fight and think. And after his mother dies, Theseus sets his sights on stopping Hyperion and saving the realm of Earth.
First, one caveat about Immortals - the picture was out of focus at the screening I attended. It was certainly noticeable to me and the people I was with, and it made it really hard to appreciate the visuals. Add in that this was in 3D and therefore darker than it should be, and I probably didn't appreciate how the movie looked as much as I should have. That being said, I could still see that the movie was extremely well made. Director Tarsem has only made two feature films before this, but he's well known as having a great eye, even if his movies are a little uneven. The first 2/3 of the movie was a little slow. There were certainly some action moments here and there, and a couple of cringe-worthy moments as well (especially if you're a guy), but a lot of that part of the film was spent setting up the final battle. The story was simple enough that there wasn't a lot to think about, which I appreciated. Sometimes movies like these can get really buried in a confusing and unnecessary story, so the simplicity allowed Tarsem to focus on making a visually striking film. I wish though that he had spent more time on the sound because while the theater shook during some massive fights, some of the dialogue was hard to understand. I think both Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto's characters could have used subtitles throughout because deciphering what they were saying became a chore. Sure a lot of the dialogue was cheesy, but I expected that in this type of film.
The final battle sequence was worth the price of admission. Yes, I saw the movie for free but you know what I mean. It featured thousands of people beating the living crap out of each other and, once the Titans were released, the Gods took their place on the side of the humans and went nuts. Gods vs. Titans could have easily been a video game with all the slow motion and heads exploding. While their outfits were ridiculous (they're Gods, they could have worn anything and them went with what looks like gold outfits from the 70s?) their fighting skills were unmatched. Titan after Titan exploded with a fury not seen outside of the heavens. And at the same time, Theseus and Hyperion were having a one-on-one, mano y mano old fashioned fist fight (with token knife) in the room next door. The brutality with which they attacked each other was impressive. In fact I liked the fact that the movie didn't hide that brutality. Whether it was a guy getting a sledgehammer to the balls (there wasn't a guy in theater who didn't wince at that) or seeing three women steamed alive, Tarsem didn't hide the fact Hyperion was out for blood and would do whatever it took to get what he wanted. So while the movie took a while to get started, and for me was hard to see, it definitely picked up steam as it went along. The 3D was once again unnecessary and only made the picture darker and harder to see.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall I liked Immortals, mainly because of the tremendous battle sequence the last 20-30 minutes of the movie. Seeing it in focus in 2D probably would have helped too.