“Immortals” Movie Review

    Director Tarsem Singh is helming the upcoming Snow White adaptation “Mirror Mirror” and actor Henry Cavill is the next Superman.  All the more reason to check out “Immortals”, a swords and sandals epic from the producers of “300”.  Aside from my apparent blood lust, the above talent involved is really the reason I was looking forward to seeing “Immortals.”  By no means is this film great, but it does give a nice glimpse of how Cavill might handle his role as Superman in 2013.  Here he is not like any of the characters in “300” so to speak.  He’s not a soldier, rather a peasant of sorts who has grown up in the times of Greek Mythology in a small cliff side village.

     “Immortals” is your typical good versus evil story and boasts an excellent cast led by none other than Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion.  Rourke plays this guy to the extreme of vile nastiness.  Scraps from what he is currently eating populate his mangy beard, this while he is eye gouging and spearing those who he no longer has use for.  If the filmmaker’s envisioned a worst of the worst bad guy than they hired the right actor.  Rourke’s  turn in “Iron Man 2” can’t hold a candle to his portrayal of King Hyperion, thus giving the film the needed adversary for Cavill.

    Cavill’s character Theseus is chosen by Zeus to lead the battle against King Hyperion as he brutally canvasses Greece looking for a magical bow and arrow that is capable of destroying humanity.  Bow and arrow or not, Theseus is given the ultimate motivation to kill King Hyperion when he has his henchmen hold him down and slices his mother’s throat right before his eyes.  In search of the bow, Theseus travels with a small band of people he escapes with early in the film.  They include a “Virgin Oracle” named Phaedra, played by Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), and Stavros, played by Stephen Dorff (Blade).  Essentially, the film builds to one of those climactic battle scenes where you have a really big army of goons getting ready to invade a really well fortified city.  Nothing new here, and not unlike similar stuff you’ve already seen in better films like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

     One thing that jumped out at me throughout the film was the endless supply of garish costumes.  I can’t speak intelligently about how people may have dressed back then, but I wouldn’t think they would be channeling their inner Wil Ferrell from “Zoolander” as they prance around in and out of battle.  Between the God’s and King Hyperion’s head pieces, it left me wondering who was designing these odd looking digs so I looked it up!  The film’s costume designer is Eiko Ishioka and it came as no surprise to me to find her name listed as the costume designer for “The Cell”.  In that Singh film, J-Lo enters the mind of a serial killer and runs into some pretty weird stuff.  I suppose Singh keeps his people on the payroll and had Ishioka come on board for this one and said “Just Wow me!”  One of the gods has what appears to be a golden Hot Wheels race track on his head!  But I digress.

     The fight sequences in the “Immortals” are what you are paying to see and for the most part, they don’t disappoint.  Singh, who is known for his signature visual style, is not known for this type of work.  This must be where “the producers of “300” came in since the style of action is straight from that film, right down to the super slow motion exploding heads.  Nonetheless, action fans will not be disappointed and the Theseus versus King Hyperion back and forth is sure to keep you entertained.  The film has tons of brutal violence and gore and even a few imaginative set pieces.  I thought the few timely appearances by the Gods were rather cool.  I could’ve used a better story and maybe a few bits of memorable dialogue, but I realize this isn’t meant to be anything more than average.  And so it is.  GRADE: C