Though Immortals may not deliver anspecifically rich narrative or deep and complicated characters, thefilm’s story is far more additive and commanded as compared toSingh’s other works. Like result, contempt trusting with one-dimensional motivations and some melodramatic exchanges, thecharacter moments successfully hold the film going in among combatadjust pieces and sequences that highlight Singh’s trademark visualstylings.
The story, which characteristics somechallenging twists on Greek mythology, starts after the infamous Warof the Titans – as King Hyperion attempts to ordain revenge with the Olympians for the death of his family. Hyperion and his army slayGreek settlement after settlement in search of the Epirus Bow – aweapon created by Heracles (Steve Byers), capable of freeing theTitans from Tartarus and turning the tide against Zeus and the othergods. To combat the threat, Zeus enlists Theseus , a unafraidbucolic, to fight Hyperion and his army – as the Olympians havebeen forbidden from interfering in the battle.
There’s no question that thenarrative itself is thin – trusting to a great extent with aseries of convenient developments in order to acquire from point A topoint B. Almost each character’s motivation is completely one-note,explained away in less as compared to 2 sentences, and will boil downto some variation of “love,”“faith,” “honor,” etc.Also in the situation of Theseus, whose character undergoes thelargest transformation – from lowly-but-capable peasant toinstrument of the gods – it’s almost impossible to watch any realdifference in the man himself, apart from the respect he starts tocull from others throughout the course of the proceedings.
This isn’t to tell that thefunctioning themselves are completely hollow or emotionless. MickeyRourke transports the film with a cool and sinister acquire onHyperion, assigned on delivering a ton of dialog that, inless-capable hands, could have come down flat. Cavill wins inrallying the audience to his slope and decidedly excels in a numberof hard-hitting fight sequences.
Still, this film isn’t purposing toresearch deep character motivations, and, to an extent, appears torevel in the simplicity of its Greek mythology “source material,” while abandoning many of the more complicated character histories.Rather, Immortals successfully focuses on twisting thelarger-than-life stories into compelling and, of course,interesting-seeming onscreen action.
The variations on traditional mythologydo not let down when Olympians elite to interfere in a variety oficonic ways, or when Theseus is pitted versus a “Beast” in thelabyrinth. It’s in these hyper-realistic adjust-pieces that Singh’svisual style actually shines, as the director appears to have toiledabove each single detail – adjusting, costume design, colorpalette, etc – creating some very rich and plunge onscreen eyecandy. Where other films merely flaunt cool-looking visuals for thesake of displaying audiences eye-popping CGI effects, even staticset-dressings in Immortals win in building tension when capturing aRenaissance-as composition that is at the same time both beautifuland horrific.
That’s not to say that film is boggeddown in merely attempting to look like a moving painting: Immortalsalso features some pretty exciting and impressively shot action.While the battles are simply not on the immense scale of films like300 or Clash of the Titans(which featured enormous monsters anddiverse fight scenarios), the combat sequences inImmortals are stillimpressive – especially since a pair of Theseus’ choreographedfight scenes appear to occur in one continuous take as Cavill ducks,spins, and slashes through a series of enemies. These combatsequences also make worthy use of the film’s 3D format – asspears punch through characters at odd angles and the added depthkeeps bodies from overlapping in close quarter combat.
Early on, Singh conceived of a numberof the film’s action sequences (as well as large-scale visuals)with 3D in mind – and the film definitely falls more on the side ofthe subtle-but-cool-looking 3D experience than an all-out in yourface 3D extravaganza. Significant portions of the film don’t alwaystake advantage of the added dimension, but two or three of the combatsequences (especially the finale) – along with some coolestablishing shots (such as the introduction of the Titans) – makeit worth the price of the format upgrade.
Immortals isn’t as over-the-top assome moviegoers might be anticipating, given its “From theProducers of 300” marketing. While it’s definitely anotherstylized, big-budget, swords and shields epic, the real strength ofthe film lies in Tarsem Singh’s imaginative vision – which issubsequently held together by an adequate story of gods, titans, andhumanity. Film fans looking for deep and compelling characterdevelopment or enormous CGI monsters may find the proceedingssomewhat limited in scope (given Singh’s focus on arelativelygrounded and thin human storyline); but for anyoneinterested in a mix of stunning visual compositions and brutal fightsequences, Immortals isn’t likely to disappoint.