A Three Dimensional Review
Since you came here to read the review of Immortals I'm going to assume you know what the movie is about so we can skip all that. If not I've posted the trailer below. Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, is basically trying to kill Hyperion, played by Mickey Rourke, because he's the bad guy. Theseus has been chosen by the gods for this quest as Hyperion is attempting to free the "titans" which would destroy the world and start a war with the gods. Just think of this movie as if Clash of the Titans and 300 had a lovechild. The style of fighting, choreography, and action are very similar to 300. While the weak storyline, poor character development, and the whole greek gods thing make it similar to Clash of the titans. Be Warned: This is a very shallow movie, the plot doesn't pace extremely well, and there is little to no character development, its a very cliche, ridiculous, "This guy has special powers, Thank the gods he is going to save us!" kind of movie. Luckily that was exactly what I was in the mood to see. So, since I'm going with a "recommend" let's start by going over the crap.
A few minutes into the movie and I got a little worried. The dialogue, especially during the first few scenes really made me want to cringe. Luckily it didn't last long and the dialogue improved. Enough so, at least, that I didn't notice it anymore. The storyline and character development were lacking. It sort of seemed like they were just covering the essentials in order to move it along. In my opinion, the biggest weakness in this respect was the love story. I don't care how much testosterone you think you have, an interesting love story is vital to any good movie. If you don't believe me, try to think of a good movie that doesn't have one.... Exactly, you cant. Except for Shawshank Redemption, but that movie doesn't count because it was made by angels. So, the love story is kind of definitely Blah. Basically she just throws herself at him because he is the main character. There weren't really any intelligent or engaging interactions between Theseus and Phaedra (Freida Pinto) but they do wait a few scenes before doing the deed so that the audience doesn't think she's a whore. The plot is a little weak as well. I couldn't really pinpoint what it was that bothered me but it somehow seemed as if it had an odd pacing that wasn't really engaging. Generally I enjoy a movie that is constantly taking your emotions up and down so you feel you've sort of taken a journey. This movie just sets a full-time dark tone while racing through the storyline. However, I do have to give serious props to Mickey Rourke as Hyperion. Honestly I'm growing fond of Mickey's new movie persona. He can wear an awesome bad guy.
Unfortunately, a lot of the really devastating scenes don't have much of an impact because the love story is blah, the main actor (Henry Cavill) is rough around the acting, and the dark tones are pretty much constant so the important moments just don't have the opportunity to shine. The acting overall wasn't anything to write home about. Plus, while its easy to pick on the actors, a lot of the dialogue was really weak. One of the main supporting characters literally made no sense to me whatsoever. It seemed like at first he's just a dick, but then suddenly he's Theseus's best friend or something. I think they only spent a line or two on that character transition. Don't worry though, at the end of the movie you will know what happened. The tension inflicted throughout the entire film was subpar. Again though, that was mostly because of poor character development, love story, etc. If you never really have the opportunity to like the characters your not gonna care when they're in danger.
The last thing I just have to mention in the crap section is the "titans." I really don't know what they were trying to do here. The titans were like small ninja monkeys. I don't know about you but the word "titan" makes me think of something massive, in either size or power, or of solid stone, or any other commonly thought of masculine symbol. Small, nimble, powdered ninja creatures never really creeps in there. It's not that it really detracted from the movie or anything it just seemed really bizarre. Its not like they didn't have a choice, just call them something different if you want them short and squirrelly. But don't name them giants and then show mice. This probably seems like a really bad list of crap but the overall experience wasn't bad it just seemed like a C-grade story with A-grade action. I guess that really sums up the crap so let's get to the good stuff.
The Good Stuff:
The effects were pretty sweet. I always love just watching a stupid action movie every now and again. This filled the bill. The fight choreography was really what made this stand out in my mind. The chopping, and slashing, and jumping, and dodging, and flipping, and killing, and bleeding, and stabbing just doesn't stop.
Speaking of good stuff, Spoiler alert: You get to see Freida Pinto's buttocks and they do not look worse in 3D. Here is a preview... but seriously its about the art, this is just so tasteless.
The 3D looked gorgeous for virtually the entire movie. There may have been a few shots that were overbearing but they weren't significant enough to remember specifics. The production design, landscapes, cinematography, and visual aesthetics of the film were amazing and looked even more gorgeous in 3D. Even some of the more ridiculous costumes added to the film's look and feel. The color, style, and visuals worked incredibly well together to make it easy to accept their world.
As far as the action goes the only thing that could have made it any better would be car chases and explosions. The gods are cool as hell, albeit they parade around some ridiculous looking headgear, but the movie does an excellent job of blending the gods' world and the humans' while still showing definite separation. In fact I was really surprised by that while I was watching it. In spite of the rather poor aspects of the storyline, the way they portrayed the gods somehow made me accept them more easily than in Clash of the Titans. I remember thinking "Oh snap" when the gods came to 'intervene.' The true stars of Immortals were the visuals and the battle sequences. It was a very 300 fighting style in that bodies were flying all over the place. The movements were very fluid and relentless, so the epic kills are just lined up one behind the next. Caution: if you are faint of heart and wish not to see full human bodies sliced in half either sideways or longways then you should stay away from this movie. It gets even crazier when the gods come down to put a foot in it.
I'm not sure there is much more to say about this movie. I did really enjoy it, as I enjoy most any film I see, even a lot of the bad ones. I recommend it to anyone who loves the hollywood action cliches that are regularly released. The action and visuals will blow you away. It wont stand out in the long run and you might forget most of it in a relatively short amount of time but you will certainly enjoy watching it. But if you're the type that loves deep and interesting characters, unique storylines, and engaging interactions you will be disappointed by this film. In my opinion, overall a decent and fun one-watch movie.
Released in theaters November 11, 2011. Rated R. 110 minutes of run time.
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.