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Film review: 'Immortals' won't live on in cinema history

November 14, 2011|By BOB GARVER | Special to The Herald-Mail
  • Henry Cavill stars in "Immortals"
Relativity Media


The world does not need "Immortals." We've have quite enough films with Greeks and gods and swords and sandals and cliffs lately.

There's 2007's "300," a film filled with violence and twisted images that "Immortals" seems to be blatantly ripping off.

There was that lousy "Clash of the Titans" remake from last year, which I had happily forgotten about until now.  

Even this year has already brought us "Thor," which got a bad year of blockbusters off to an ominous start. "Immortals" has little of interest or originality to contribute to the genre, and serves only to make it audience think twice before purchasing a ticket to an upcoming variation.  

The story is one of the sloppiest I've ever seen. From what I could tell, it's about a human named Theseus (Henry Cavill) who wants to stop the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) from taking over the world.  

Hyperion intends to do so by freeing the otherworldly Titans from a prison that looks like a foosball table. This will allow them to kill all of Greece's gods (a tall order considering they're gods and they imprisoned the Titans in the first place) and then I guess they're supposed to be so grateful that they put him in charge of Earth.  

Rourke is scary and intimidating as Hyperion, but he's not a very bright villain. He thoughtlessly makes an enemy of Theseus and then leaves him alive to seek revenge.  

He also has the questionable goal of wanting to father the entire world. This tells us that he's selfish and narcissistic, but it's such a logistical nightmare considering the populations involved.  

Also, he sees to it that his own men can't father any children themselves. He sees to it with a sledgehammer. How in the world does he get men to follow him? Sure he can threaten them with death, but I still can't imagine many men who wouldn't risk death compared to submitting to the sledgehammer treatment.  

There's some nonsense with the gods and their willingness to interfere with human affairs. They serve little purpose other than to justify the unique outfits depicted on the film's posters.  

There's even more nonsense with an oracle (Freida Pinto) who is crucial to Hyperion's plan, yet he is successful without her. She may ultimately serve little purpose in the story, but I think most audience members (especially males) will forgive her when they see her passionate love scene with Theseus.  

The film mistakenly thinks that it's beautiful. Long, loving looks are given to sets and scenery. Not a minute goes by where we're not supposed to be awestruck by the film's cliffs, oceans, mountains and heavens.  

This is also one of those movies that treats its most violent scenes as elegant, and a lot of unnecessary emphasis is put on that. I thought most of the scenes looked ugly and the special effects looked cheap. But the film has been receiving praise for its overall look, so maybe I'm in the minority on this one.  

I'll toss "Immortals" a half star for its love scene, but I found nothing else to like.  The film can't go very long without making a fool of itself. The story in particular has been shamefully mishandled.  

I think we're supposed to forget the story and just sit back and enjoy the action.  I've already forgotten almost everything about the story and the action.  

"Immortals" is a forgettable film, a useless entry in a genre that lately has seen many useless entries. I do remember one thing very vividly: how much I wanted to go home.  



One and a Half Stars out of Five.



"Immortals" is rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence and a scene of sexuality.  Its running time is 110 minutes.  



Contact Bob Garver at rrg251@nyu.edu.  

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