Featured Critic; St. Louis, MO
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Directed by the respectable visual stylist Tarsem Singn ("The Cell", "The Fall"), "Immortals" is a stylized ode to old world cold-blooded warfare. Set in computer generated ancient Greece, the story follows Theseus (Henry Cavill, checked out), a heroic mortal who is skeptical about the existence of the gods (Zues, Athena, and company, who occupy computer generated Mount Olympus) although they perpetually pursue him. Indeed, the film might've had some interesting things to say about mankind in relation to Higher Power, but that's simply not what the film is really about. "Immortals" is an exercise in style through and through, and everyone on screen seems to know it. And for that, it's boring.

Tarsem (as he's sometimes credited) approaches the mythic material like he's making some sort of modern day Ray Harryhausen movie via "Fellini Satyricon". That is, until the fighting really picks up, and it becomes a lofty cinematic video game demo. With only flatline energy radiating from the actors (even the volcanic Mickey Rourke, who plays the savage villain Hyperion, is dull), one wonders just what kind of film they thought they signed on for. At this point, the producers may be hoping for an R-rated "Thor" at the box office, but at best, they've got an art house "Clash of the Titans". (The remake, not the original.)

Oh sure, the battles are cool. After an hour and a half of percolating half-baked tension and bad 3D, they'd BETTER be! The director spares no gore as characters are torn up, smashed, stabbed, run through, and decapitated in brutal color graded artifice. Soulless visual experimentation is rampant in these scenes. At one point, a single shot features the two halves of a guy chopped in two dropping in slow motion while the attacker speed-ramps his weapon into his next target, superfast! All at the same time. Very cool, except it's all but without meaning or weight.

I'd have enjoyed "Immortals" a lot more if A) it weren't in 3D, B) it spent more time hashing out the ideas about mankind and godhood and less time focusing on ways to exploit the said 3D, and C) it weren't a feature film at all, but perhaps an avant garde short or even a series of photographs. Instead, we've got this two-hour slog that, while touching on the would-be intriguing plight of the fading gods of Olympus, also strangely posits that the ancient creatures of legend were really man-made (for example, the minotaur that Theseus must defeat is a guy in a bull helmet made of barbed wire). There seems to be some sort of dichotomy there, ideas-wise, but heck if I can deal with them now. Although I just saw the film a couple hours ago, "Immortals", like the time and place it so artificially depicts, is fading into the mists of memory already. Or maybe Tarsem's computer crashed.

- Jim Tudor
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More about Immortals

KhanNovember 11, 2011 1:00 PM

This looks absolutely awful. Only "Jack & Jill" looks worse than this complete waste of time. I realize everyone involved with the movie didn't start out trying to make something this horrible - but somehow it keeps happening over and over again. Here is the funniest review I have read of this movie - from a Finnish film critic who REALLY hates it.

DanielNovember 12, 2011 3:50 AM

Another ridiculously predictable review from a pretentious plonker. Had this been an arty farty foreign language indy no doubt you would be telling us what an amazing piece of film making it was. Change the record.

Jim TudorNovember 12, 2011 10:25 AM

Hey be nice, champ! This pretentious plonker is just being honest - and honest on an insanely short deadline at that. "Arty farty" is exactly what's wrong with "Immortals". As Roger Ebert said, it's the best looking awful movie you'll ever see. I don't totally agree with that statement - think there are moments where it's visuals are embarrassingly overblown and/or fake - but you get the idea. If anything is pretentious, it's this movie. Overblown and undercooked schlock that just crawls by.

And BTW, I had to trash a foreign language indy here on Twitch just the other day. Go back and read my take on "The Women on the 6th Floor". (You'll probably be the first!)

ArnNovember 12, 2011 7:12 PM

Great Review . I too am tiring of the Sea of Bloody Heads and Bodies Epics , and would much prefer enjoying Mystic Epics exploring the Eternal Questions . This says so much about Sic Grunge Killing Adventures and Hollywoods Obsession with Apocalyptic Brutality !

ChevalierAguilaNovember 14, 2011 1:14 AM

What's up with the people pimpin other review sites, and just plain trollin here? Anyway, i'm still curious about this one just because of Tarsem directing, It can't be as bad as the Clash of the Titans remake, or let alone as bad as an Adam Sandler movie.

feynman456April 3, 2012 4:01 PM

I bought this movie to try out in my new blue ray dvd player. i PAID 30 BUCKS FOR THIS DOG DOO.
some terrific fight scenes But those were like 5% of the movie. The rest was MIND NUMBINGILY BORING. Absolutely awful slow paced meaningless dialogue and they didnt even come close to getting the mythology right! I i hadnt paid thirty bucks for it i would have broken it into small pieces. This movie is painful to watch.