REVIEW: ‘Immortals.’ It’s Quite Impressive How Many Crunches the Gods Did.
2. The story of "Immortals" is the basic origin story of the Greek gods and their ongoing interactions and battles with humans. I mean, I guess: I'll confess to not being up on my Greek myths as this movie sort of assumes I am, considering how little explanation it gives its narrative. Certain characters pop in and out for no reason, and then a new character will suddenly show up and he's the center of the movie for a few minutes. From what I can understand, Zeus (Luke Evans, as well as occasionally John Hurt, in another conceit I didn't understand) is the father of Theseus (Henry Cavill), a peasant boy who apparently had nothing to eat growing up but Nordic-Tracs and Ab Crunchers. They're fighting King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke, because hey, why not?) for control of some golden bow and then there are people in cages who are titans and honestly we've wasted too much time on this already.
3. Tarsem spends so much time primping his still images -- honestly, if this movie were just establishing shots, it'd be terrific -- that he forgets (or doesn't even bother) to give us any basic story clues to what's going on. It doesn't help that the movie is so relentlessly humorless, without so much of a wink that a bunch of shirtless men running around in masks and carrying spears is, uh, a little bit silly. I'm not sure Tarsem or any of his cast worried too much about what anyone was saying or doing, which is strange, because this is a ridiculously simple story to tell and they've still botched it. A lot of bad action movies feature people sitting around just sort of waiting for the action scenes to start. "Immortals" is a lot better when people are just sitting around.
4. That's not entirely fair. There's a battle sequence that ends the film that has some zest to it, if only because it's shot in "300" Vision, where the action freezes and then speeds up so we can feel every THWACK and GOOOSH. (Even in fight scenes, Tarsem would rather things not move.) And as a leading man, Cavill, soon to be our Superman, certainly cuts an impressive figure, and if he can figure out a sense of humor, or at least the ability to lift one or both of his eyebrows, he could be a perfectly passable Man of Steel. Rourke rather clearly doesn't know what movie he's in, but he's still a kick to watch anyway, if just because Rourke hamming it up has its charms even if there is purposely no context. Also, Freida Pinto is in the movie and smiles and is pretty and remains about as dull an actress as there is working. She is pretty, though. That's something I wanna get clear.