AccessReel Reviews – Immortals

AccessReel Reviews – Immortals

Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion 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 Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man’s conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant named Theseus 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 and cunning slave Stavros —one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his Gods vanish into legend.

It’s been five years since Tarsem Singh’s last feature film, his previous directorial works include ‘The Cell’ in 2000 and ‘The Fall’ in 2006. This year he brings us the film ‘Immortals’, based on greek mythology ‘Immortals’ follows the character Theseus from his home village as he is pulled into a wider conflict across his homelands involving the gods themselves.

‘Immortals’ delivers on creating a setting which utilises interesting costumes and contains an artistic style in the shooting of the film which really sets the tone for a potentially engaging film. Though fairly quickly as the film progresses we begin to see many familiar themes starting to unfold without any real unique take that would allow this film to stand out from the pack.

Unfortunately many of the characters contained within the film are very one dimensional, from the central hero, the main villain, and the supporting cast of warriors, gods, and oracles nothing is ever fleshed out with any sense of depth. The archetypes are established and there is little progression from this, instead the film relies on an event driven story which the characters mostly react to.

In terms of the plot of the film, it’s all mostly uninspired and treads familiar territory, there’s little to be found here that hasn’t been explored elsewhere, and fans of the mythology upon which the film is based are likely to notice many of the artistic tweaks that have been made for the film which is no doubt going to leave some audiences disappointed with the outcome.

Accuracies aside ‘Immortals’ tends to be somewhat of an uneven ride in terms of pacing, allowing things to flatten out a little too long in a film which is more reliant upon style over substance.

Performances from the cast generally deliver on the limited demands placed upon them, to his credit Henry Carvill has a few moments where he shines through above an uninspiring script, Mickey Rourke gives a familiar performance in a one note role, as does Steven Dorff who had little material to work with, John Hurt however really seemed to invest himself in his mentoring role and injected a bit more heart and enthusiasm into the film.

Where ‘Immortals’ does tend to shine is in terms of some of the smaller scale action sequences, the fight choreography definitely delivers some entertaining scenes with a creative flourish to them, however for everything that is done right there is something in the larger scale battle scenes that isn’t executed with the same success and in some cases just seems out of place.

This film is available to see in 3D, and while there is an element of this which is capitalised on with good effect for the majority of the film it seems to be a lost opportunity. Contained within are long stretches of film where 3D is not utilised, and in some cases where it is utilised but without any real improvement to the film. For the extra price that a 3D ticket will attract ‘Immortals’ doesn’t offer value for money from that perspective.

There is some enjoyment to be found here, but overall ‘Immortals’ just does too little to stand out from a number of other entries in the genre, it’s a case of style over substances but unfortunately isn’t overly successful on this level either.

I’m giving ‘Immortals’ two out of five stars, it’s released in cinemas around Australia on Thursday 24 November 2011.