Film review: Immortals

By Pauline Anunciacion

Like most movies based on Greco-Roman mythology (like 300, Troy and Clash of the Titans), Immortals serves to entertain, awe and not necessarily provoke thought. From the surreal landscapes to slamming battle scenes, Immortals will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

This film sees King Hyperion seeking the Epirus bow, a weapon forged from the heavens and carefully hidden by Zeus. He desires the bow to unleash the Titans, and ultimately hell on Earth. Declaring war on humanity, he leads his bloodthirsty army into a series of massacres. The Greek gods are powerless to stop him, as they reluctantly abide by an ancient law that dictates no interference in the lives of mortals. Theseus, a mere peasant touched by the gods, serves as their only hope.

Immortals can be described as a cinematographic work of art. The entire movie carries acclaimed director, Tarsem Singh’s trademark — dream-like settings and elaborate and symbolic costumes. Hyperion and his army are decked out in cast-iron armoury, accessorized with twisted bull-horns and frightening masks. They command unquestionable ruthlessness, setting the bar for villainy.

The epic fight scenes in Immortals put other movies of its kind to shame. They are not as comic-like and unrealistic as in 300, nor are they inadequately bloody like in Troy. The men are pumped up with adrenaline and testosterone as they go about a killing spree in probably the best fashion — the Matrix-esque slow-motion way.

The fact that Immortals is showed in 3D heightens the viewing experience even more. Singh does a superb job directing lighting and camera angles. The muscle-molded soldiers and Greek gods emanate manly grime or are bathed in golden light. The heavy CGI effects make the setting move from surreal to realistic with ease — the dusty tombs, putrid battlegrounds, stomach-dropping cliffs, towering monuments and an Olympus decorated in exquisite marble and gold.

Another thing to look out for is the antagonist himself, Hyperion. Mickey Rourke plays the role of the evil king, and I cannot imagine any other actor suitable for the villain role. Not only does Rourke don a very bad-ass costume, but he also has a gravelly voice, scarred face and discoloured eyes. When he is not in a violent rampage, he plots and broods. His silence can be intimidating.

Freida Pinto plays the beautiful and mysterious virgin oracle, Phaedra, and Henry Cavill plays the sexy leading man Theseus. Individually, their acting is gratifying, but their on-screen chemistry seems forced. An awkward sex scene emphasizes their incompatibility.

Much of the dialogue is comprised of quote-worthy lines, which quickly becomes too much of a good thing. Writers Charley and Vlas Parlapanides create characters and conversations that try too hard to be epic.

Go catch this movie to satisfy your sensory hunger with dramatic lighting, romanticized characters, suspenseful orchestral music, surreal landscape and, most importantly, the gory fight scenes. Just be aware that you will have to think less and watch more.

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