Immortals is just as disappointing as it was disgusting.
I am a huge fan of Greek mythology. Zeus and all of his little children, Athena especially, fascinate me; however, the gory story of Theseus has never been a favorite of mine. Perhaps that fact should of deterred me from the movie at the start, but alas, it did not.
For those unfamiliar with the story of Theseus, his mother, Aethre, was seduced by two men, King Aegus of Athens and Poseidon (yes, that Poseidon) in one night. Theseus was the product of those two encounters and so is said to be fathered by both Aegus and the god (Ancient Greeks weren’t really into that whole ordeal we call anatomy). Anyway, Theseus is born with special strength but must prove himself before he can join his ‘true family’ on Mount Olympus, a la Hercules, if you will. He becomes king, goes on a long journey on which defeats several foes, has a violent encounter with a bull in a maze, and ultimately joins the gods.
Tarsem Singh, the director, interpreted Theseus in a very different way. In the movie, Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, is a peasant, specifically chosen by Zeus, played by Luke Evans, to ultimately lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). King Hyperion is on a rampage across Greece to obtain the Epirus bow that could destroy humanity and make him the one true master of the world. Phaedra (Freida Pinto), the Sybelline Oracle, forsees disturbing images that convince her that Theseus is the key to ending Hyperion’s rampage. In the end, Theseus does defeat the mighty Hyperion and joins the gods.
The acting was by no means bad. Although there was little character development, Cavill was successful in his interpretation of the stone-faced Theseus. Evans did as good as anyone playing the almighty Zeus. Rourke stole the show however in his rendition of King Hyperion. Tasked with a large amount of dialogue, his character could have fallen flat; however, Rourke’s sinister portrayal carried the film.
A lack of character development is common in Singh’s films. He is known for not simply directing movies but directing moving pieces of art, and this did apply to Immortals. Not a detail was left out, and each shot was spot on, down to the costuming and color pallet.
Perhaps my problem with the film is simply taste, but it came from my innate hatred for excessive violence. I had hoped that I shared this character trait with the general public, but apparently I do not share it with Singh. Violence was everywhere. And not just gory battle scenes, but personal, detailed violence that was simply unpleasant to witness: A mother having her neck slit in front of her son. Three innocent women trapped inside a steel bull over a raging fire, burning to death. The detailed, blatant cutting out of a monk’s tongue. Not to mention the numerous heads being lobbed off in distinct detail.
Perhaps the worst part of all was how all of this was in 3D. There is nothing I love more than guts flying out at my face. That is how I want to spend every Saturday night.
Call me a wuss, naive or too sensitive if you will. Perhaps I should have done my homework before I paid $13 for a movie I thought would be an entertaining rendition of Greek Mythology. At the end of the day, decent acting and interesting filmography can be ruined by too much guts and gore in my book.
If you share my humanitarian point of view, as I would hope most people do, save your 13 dollars and hour and a half of time. Put it to better use doing anything else.