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Immortals

by

Jeff Nelson

The hard R-rated action flick is sure to please those wanting to see bloodshed.

Immortals
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Centering around the gods and the visionary style of 300 has become very popular among filmmakers. Unfortunately, many of the films about the gods turn out to be disappointing. I'm a big fan of the Greek and Roman gods and it's irritating that Hollywood cannot seem to get it right. The most recent addition to these lackluster titles is Clash of the Titans (2010), which was an absolute mess. I already knew that Immortals would be a better film based on the rating. What's an epic war without the violence and blood? It's an unrealistic and sugar-coated representation that doesn't work. To successfully create the gritty atmosphere of battles and war, the violence and blood is absolutely necessary. Immortals incorporates this to its visuals, but is the screenplay as everlasting as the title implies?

In Ancient Greece, King Hyperion searches for a powerful weapon that will free the bloodthirsty Titans and enable them to overpower the gods and enslave mankind. Unable to infer directly, the gods choose Theseus, a champion to defend them. Theseus gathers a ragtag band of warriors, including priestess Phaedra and slave Stavros, to meet the challenge. The script is a bit difficult to take seriously at times. There are some scenes that are unintentionally funny. The dialogue is quite tacky throughout and never really improves, although I never expected phenomenal writing from a film such as Immortals. However, I feel that the gods could have been given a bigger role in the story. The main mortal characters simply aren't very interesting. The gods are given an extremely limited amount of screen time and I feel that the filmmakers could have created some better fighting sequences if they incorporated the gods into the movie more. There are times in Immortals where I found myself wondering if even the mortals are immortal. Theseus in particular endures so many injuries that it makes us question how he's still getting up to fight. Normally this doesn't bother me in actions flicks, but it bothered me a bit more here than it generally does. As expected, the plot points are predictable. The screenplay is pretty much what we have come to expect from these flicks.

The cast doesn't do very much to improve upon the script. However, I don't place very much of this blame on them as the material they were given isn't very strong. I was surprised to hear that Freida Pinto took part in a movie such as this. Her talent is certainly hindered by the writing. Mickey Rourke plays a good villain as King Hyperion. He's intimidating and interesting to watch. Henry Cavill is fine as Theseus, but the character himself simply isn't very engrossing. To be quite honest, it feels as if Cavill took some acting tips from 300. The gods are given such as small amount of screen time that it's difficult to give either positive or negative comments on the acting. For the most part, the cast was chosen correctly as far as physical appearances go. Don't expect more than mediocre acting.

The trailers are extraordinarily appealing in terms of the visuals. The film is no different. The camera work is great. I saw Immortals in Dolby Digital 3D due to the fact that it was filmed in this format. Aside from the final showdown, the 3D really doesn't pull too far away from the screen. The detail of the picture is intact, but the filmmakers could have utilized the technology a bit better. The battle at the end of the movie puts the 3D technology to use. I'm not a fan of the format, but it was fine for what it is. The slow-motion fighting continues to be effective, despite the fact that it has been used so many times. The battle scenes, especially those with the gods, are brutal. Unfortunately, the majority of the bloodshed is CGI gore. This gives off a cartoonish look to the blood and made me feel as if I was watching a video game instead of a movie. Digital blood is better than PG-13 bloodless battle scenes I suppose. The gritty atmosphere is certainly conveyed and works.

The hard R-rated action flick is sure to please those wanting to see bloodshed. Just make sure to turn off your brain before watching Immortals. If you do, you'll find yourself picking at elements of the movie that just might test your patience. The screenplay attempts to have a story, but it never manages to immerse us. It's paper thin and a lot more could have been done with it. However, the final act of the film is solely dedicated to the violent warfare. This movie is good escapism, no more no less. If you're expecting a fantastic film about the gods, then look elsewhere. I am still awaiting a well-crafted piece of cinema from Hollywood concerning the Greek/Roman gods. Immortals is ultimately mortal in the sense of being forgettable. The flick impresses with its visuals, but has nothing to back it up.

My Rating = Two and One Half Stars

Next movie: The Green Lantern

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