The hype based around Greek-mythology-action film Immortals was a tale of two halves. The first, with obvious reason, was whether this could be the natural successor to 2006's swords-and-sandals epic, 300, boasting a visual flair and some truly spectacular slow-mo fight sequences. The other buzz-inducing topic was its lead actor, Henry Cavill. The rising British born star (a relative unknown for most) will be donning the cape and tights for Zach Snyder's Man of Steel in 2013, and as such, Immortals was seen as a proving ground for the 28 year old, as to whether his performing prowess can lend itself to a believable and relatable Clark Kent. While they're both lofty asks, it's safe to say that Immortals does indeed deliver to a certain extent on either side.
The story is straight forward enough, as it follows Greek hero Theseus (Cavill) on his journey to prevent the evil forces of Hyperion (Mickey Rourke, no less) from unleashing the God-forsaken (literally) Titans and bringing about war between the worlds of God and Man. Putting new spins on ancient legends along the way (such as the Minotaur), Theseus finds himself in love with a worshipped oracle (Freida Pinto), leading a mass army of men, and battling alongside the gods themselves.
The plot and story-telling, however, doesn't hold so strong against its epic prose. The script can be sloppy in places to the point where things get a little tedious, with the narrative feeling more like a scrapbook of bits and pieces, rather than a ravelling novel of grandeur. Sure, Theseus is out adventuring the lands, but there's a lot of to and fro between places, a back and forth cycle of sets and scenes. And although they look great, thanks to the unique style of director Tarsem Singh, the golden back drops and luscious colour contrasts get tired because of these flaws, teasing the viewer with a fresh, even grander picture on the horizon, but never pulling through.
At its heart, of course, Immortals is an action film, taking no prisoners in its execution of blood, guts and gore, as warriors exchange blows and gods exchange mega-blows. Masterfully choreographed and beautifully shot, these battle sequences provide the movie's best moments - especially when gods get involved. Heads explode, flesh rips and screams fly; often in a show of awesome slow-mo. It may reverberate that of 300's unforgettable action scenes, but when it looks this spectacular and exciting, who can blame them?
|May the best god win!|
|A small step...|
If you just take Immortals as what it is - 110 minutes of action pumped, CGI prettiness - then you can't help but walk away from the cinema happy. Those hoping for a bit more depth and a journey into some deep mythology should look elsewhere, but at least stick around to check out Cavill's performance. 3D, once again, is a 'meh', but the look and feel of the thing is a rare breed entirely and one that can be admired for many a year.
It may not be winning awards any time soon, but at least it's not Clash of The Titans: