Apr 18, 2012

Immortals Review


Premise:

In the time before mankind, immortals waged a civil war with the winners being crowned "Gods" and the losers, labeled "Titans", getting caged up in a mountain. Now, the sadistic King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is going from village to village slaughtering everyone to search for the virgin Oracle (Freida Pinto) who can tell him the location of the The Epirus Bow (a mystical weapon last used in the war of immortals and since hidden). Hyperion intends to use the bow to destroy the cage holding the Titans, both using them to rule the world and to spite the Gods who refused to save his own murdered family. But the Gods aren't blind to this. Zeus (Luke Evans) has been training a young peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) for at least twenty years for the day he would need to rise up and lead the last stand against Hyperion. That day has come.


Standouts:

Visually, this is a stunning movie, and some of the ideas in it are really powerful. The oven, I guess you could call it, really stood out as creative and horrifying. Watching through the film however, I couldn't help but notice wasted shots. Immortals ran for an hour and fifty minutes, but it could have easily been cut down to an hour and thirty, or at least an hour and forty minutes. For an hour and fifty minutes I feel as a viewer I should have gotten to know a lot more characters. There were plenty of scenes where you have re-occuring background characters who you know are only there to get killed in battle later. Would it have hurt to use some of this excessive run-time giving them a few lines and making me care they got killed? Hyperion, as great as he was got more scenes than he deserved. I won't spoil anything, but he has a running theme in this film that gets used just a few times too many. Darth Vader got across the same vibe without having to repeat the same actions again and again. Also would have preferred the Gods looking a bit more stereotypical, and by that I mean not in their late twenties.

My Highlights:

Every battle scene in the first half of the movie. And given that the first half of the movie is made up mostly of battle scenes, that's pretty good.

Overall Rating:

I went into this film with really low expectations. I didn't even remember putting it at the top of my Netflix Queue, and was almost positive I was getting in a different movie until I opened up the package. Also, most reviews out there are critical ones panning the film. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the film. Everything was clicking, there was interesting characters, fun, gruesome battle scenes, blood, gore, explosions, the whole nine-yards. After the half-way point, everything got messed up, which seemed hard to do. The entire first half of the movie seemed to set a predictable but satisfying end. If everything had gone according to plan, I would have gotten the logical closure needed by the time the credits rolled. But nothing made sense after the first half, much like the Will Smith starred blockbuster, I Am Legend. The Oracle relationship was haphazardly rushed into the middle point of the film when it made far more sense at the end, all pre-established rules of mythology and death are abolished, and the sheer number of Titans somehow multiplies ten-fold when it comes time for the "Immortals" battle. The second half left a really bad taste in my mouth thinking about the film, so I can only award it:

** 1/2
Two and a half stars

When You Should See It:
Don't bother. Watch 300. Heck, watch The Scorpion King. This one is right about on-par with the Clash of the Titans remake.

image from Amazon

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