Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Silly, boring Greeks and their gods

About the movie
Action, Adventure; Drama; SciFi, Fantasy
MPAA rating:
for sequences of strong bloody violence, and a scene of sexuality
Running time:
Release date:
Robert Maillet; Henry Cavill; Alan Van Sprang; Freida Pinto; Mickey Rourke; Luke Evans; Neil Napier; Corey Sevier; Mercedes Leggett; Kellan Lutz
Directed by:
Tarsem Singh
On the web:
Immortals Official Site

We will never know what it's like to live forever, but we can at least get a taste of what eternity feels like with Immortals. The last time something this big and bloated moved this slowly was during one of the ice ages.

It's surprising the movie is so bad. It comes from Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari, producers of the spirited 300, and was directed by the visionary Tarsem Singh. The difference is that both 300, based on the work of Frank Miller, and Singh's past movies, such as the magnificent The Fall, had strong stories. This script has all the depth of a manhole cover.

Theseus (Henry Cavill) must rally the troops to stop the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) from wiping out most of Greece (not unlike that country's current financial woes) with help from a handful of gods: Zeus (Luke Evans), Athena (Isabel Lucas), and Poseidon (Kellan Lutz). There are some plot elements about a magic bow and arrow and a group of oracles who look like Justin Bieber backup dancers, but this is a one-note story that never resonates, either on a personal or heroic level.

Given the weak plot, there might have been some leeway if the casting, direction, and costuming weren't so ludicrous. Rourke, who looks more like a homeless man than a menacing king, and Stephen Dorff bring too much of a contemporary feel to the roles to make them believable as ancient characters.

Cavill has the brawn to pull off the near-naked fight scenes where he swings a sword like a ceiling fan. The problem is when he has to deliver the hackneyed dialogue. There's a scene where he tries to rally a handful of soldiers that has elements of almost every "give-'em-hell" speech ever written. All he needed to do was declare that the soldiers were a band of brothers, and it would have been a total rehash.

Singh showed a knack for visual brilliance with The Cell and The Fall. This film slops over from brilliance to silliness, especially in the Mount Olympus scenes where the gods prance around with contraptions on their heads that look like TV antennas.

It all adds up to a bland, boring film for which the end is welcomed.

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