By Ashleigh Hil-Buxton
Though I usually adopt a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude when it comes to action flicks, I will admit that “Immortals” piqued my interest if only because its plot line is based on the classic Greek myth of the warrior Theseus, a mortal man of exceptional skill that goes to war against the bloodthirsty King Hyperion.
Future Superman Henry Cavill (”Man of Steel”, ”The Tudors”) stars as Theseus, opposite cash-first comeback king Mickey Rourke (”The Expendables”, ”Sin City”) as King Hyperion, a man desperate to acquire the fabled Epirus Bow, so that he can free the fallen Titans from their prison Tartarus and exact revenge on the Olympians who cause their downfall.
Ancient laws prevent the gods from acting to prevent Hyperion’s actions, which means they must rely on Theseus, a peasant man who was unwittingly trained by a heavily disguised Zeus (Luke Evans) to become one of the most skilled warriors of his time.
After saving the life of the Oracle Phaedra (Frieda Pinto), and aided by a thief named Stavros (Stephen Dorff) Theseus sets off on his journey to find the Epirus Bow before King Hyperion does.
Owing no doubt to film being set in Ancient Greece, a great deal of special effects and careful set building have been used in order to create a surrounds that is mythical as it is forbidding. From the humble peasant villages to the vast sands of the desert which Theseus must cross in order to reach Hyperion’s camp, everything has been created or reproduced in exquisite detail. The same, too, can be said for the costuming, which does well to create the effect of a story told almost aeons ago.
As far as the film’s 3D augmentation goes – I cannot pass a definitive judgement on it. Certainly, it adds a new depth to the film and can allow the viewer to feel more immersed in the world that the filmmakers have endeavoured to create, but for many it can be troublesome and in some, literally nauseating. I don’t feel that it was a necessary addition to the film, though I suppose it did enhance the reality of some of the gorier scenes.
Speaking of gore – this film has plenty of it. In a time where swords and shields are the primary weapon and defense of almost everyone, there is plenty of slashing, stabbing and slicing – all of which is accompanied by slashes and sprays of liquids in various shades of deep red. “Immortals” is often a no-holds-barred brawl, with a particularly harrowing (or for some, gripping) scene being an up-close-and-personal look at Theseus and Hyperion beating each other to a pulp.
Director Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals” is most definitely a film targeted at the typical bloodthirsty male; however, if you can bear the bloody battles and seemingly endless fighting, there are plenty of buff men without their shirts to drool over, as well as a sensuous but brief love scene. It’s certainly not cinematic genius, but it’s plenty entertaining for those with more gruesome tastes.