Big Screen :: Immortals
November 14th 2011
Nick La Rosa
If I see a worse movie than Immortals this year it’s going to be a rough December.
What we have here is a low rent 300, which was pretty low rent itself. An impossibly cut slave or peasant (they kept calling him different things) named Theseus has to stop a mumbling Mickey Rourke from breaking through a huge wall with an army and a magical crossbow. Meanwhile the Gods are worried about someone unleashing the Titans (which are these funny cavemen guys trapped in what appears to be a primitive magical fooseball table deep inside a mountain) but they can’t intervene for some reason, except they do a little bit anyway. It’s not clear what will happen if the Titans escape and it turns out not to be that much of a big deal (spoiler).
I can’t remember a quest movie where it wasn’t clear what the characters were questing for. Theseus and his buddies wander from place to place but the script forgets to tell the audience where they are going or why. They find the magical bow before I even figured out they were looking for it. They seem to be heading for the sea, but then there is a big wave and so they just turn around. After they have been wandering for ages they decide to head back to where they started for a burial, which was intensely frustrating. I also couldn’t figure out which God was which; I think Zeus was the budget James McEvoy clone in the gold underpants and cape, but I can’t be sure. Characters talk and talk about magic and fate and gods and all sorts of garbage but no one bothers to explain the characters, the mission, and the stakes. They do manage to throw in some sexy oracles getting cooked inside a giant steel cow and a whole mess of hilarious head pieces for Mickey Rourke to wear, but that will only get you so far in my books. It’s just a disaster of a screenplay.
The director, a fellow named Tarsem Singh, is known for the remarkable look of his films, particularly The Fall, which is a stunning movie. Immortals looks cheap and phoney, the sets are cardboard and the green screen looks rubbish. That said, there are some beautiful images, and some well shot and choreographed fight scenes (I just wish I knew why they were fighting). Future Superman Henry Cavil tries hard as Theseus, but the script is so terrible the actors never really had a chance. Special credit must be given to Mickey Rourke for making things worse by being completely unintelligible.