Movie Review : Immortals (2011)

Anything with mythical gods, creatures and beasts never fails to bag my eyeballs. So since I saw the trailer for Immortals, the windows to my soul have been lusting for it. Thanks to United International Pictures Singapore and, I got a chance to preview this fantasy adventure in the vein of 300, Troy, Clash of the Titans, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and the likes.

Before I throw in my 2 cents worth of a review, let me first give you the story synopsis :

Eons after the gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land.  Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity.  Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares.  

Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge.  In the king’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the gGods.  But ancient law dictates the gods must not intervene in man’s conflict.  They remain powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope.

Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes.  Rallying a band of fellow outsiders—including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and cunning slave Stavros (Stephen Dorff)—one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his gods vanish into legend. 

Immortals movie stills taken from the web.

Directed by revolutionary visualist Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and produced by Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, the producers of 300, as well as Ryan Kavanaugh (Dear John, The Dark Fields), Immortals is good popcorn entertainment that’s beautifully made. But there are obvious liberties taken with Greek mythologies that gnawed me in this film…

1. The gods are missing. Not that I’m a scholar of Greek myths but I was interested in them for a while and remembered from past readings that there are 12 Olympian gods in the Greek pantheon. Immortals only had 6 and Luke Evans playing Zeus is about as convincing as politics being clean.

2. Gods cannot meddle in human affairs? Erm… if anything, the Greek gods love messing around with humans! Look at the string of mortal women Zeus had seduced. Hercules is fathered by Zeus and a mortal maiden named Alcmene. Besides, why lock the Titans on earth and not in heaven if divinity is not to taint the hands of man?

3. Theseus-Minotaur inaccuracy. This is a minor detail but since the movie closed with the classic imagery of Theseus over Minotaur, I thought I’d shed light on the actual legend. In the original myth of Theseus’ heroism, Minotaur was a half man-bull monster imprisoned in a labyrinth. Every few years, a group of young girls and boys were offered to the beast. During one of the ritualistic sacrifices, Theseus was amongst those sent to Minotaur. Theseus killed the Minotaur and got out of the labyrinth by a red string he had tied at the entrance. Minotaur was not killed under the circumstances depicted in Immortals.

Other than the mythological inconsistencies, I felt the movie was a tad slow with too many shortcuts taken with its storytelling. Henry Cavill as Theseus also failed to connect with my emotions as his muscles did more acting than his facial expressions. And what’s with an Indian oracle (played by Mumbai model-actress, Freida Pinto)?! She’s supposed to be Greek isn’t it? Not that I’m racist or anything of that sort.

Having said all that, I still found the movie enjoyable especially the eye-popping 3D stagings, cinematography and bold costumes (the stag-beetle-seashell combo helmet for King Hyperion and the virgins’ lampshade costumes tickled me). I also love the innovative ways in which the evil king dished out his cruelty and those slow-mo fight scenes and blood spills. Awesome!

So is this movie worth the ticket price? Definitely!

If all else fails, take it as paid motivation to get back into gym.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CMrok93
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 01:59:18

    It’s probably one of the best-looking films of the whole year (yet, I still haven’t seen Tree of Life) and the action is awesome and in-you-face which is something I always like. The story dragged on a bit and I couldn’t help but think that if the writing was a tweaked a little better, this would have definitely been a very solid film. Instead it was just fun and pretty to look at. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.


    • Darren Ng
      Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:08:27

      thanks for dropping by. wow… great movie blog you have there. was reading your review of Immortals and was nodding my head throughout. such insight and you’re only 17! great job!


  2. ngy
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 01:03:32

    yea, there’s loads of inaccuracies with the film.

    what I dont get is tho visually, some scenes and clothings’ worth mentioning; the storylines get backseat.. oh yea, what storyline!

    I was interested to dig up more bout the characters and storylines only to realise there’s so much differences of interpretations; the coal covered skin burnt locked up titans on earth (wtf, why on earth of all places, such no brainer), the blood from self-afflicted wound on Theseus shin as replacement of the red string in the Minotaur mythology (I seriously thought twas part of the burial tradition), the overly serious young Zeus who seemed to favor his young daughter Athena way too much and the undressing of Phaedra when tending Theseus’s wound (yupe, more will flock to see Freida’s butt on screen).

    basically, this movie is a contemporary mash-ups of greek myths; imagine, story on much more inaccuracies can film-goers take.

    Basically, that’s what Tarsem Singh’s most movies’ are best in; visually great but confusing, which I’ll assume Mirror Mirror (story on Snow White) will go down the same road. I wonder how’s the dwarves are going to be portrayed, definitely un-Disneylike.. hmm..


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