Immortals

Last week we had fluffy little marijuana puffs floating toward us in 3D, courtesy of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. This week, Immortals gives us disembodied heads and blood spurts that look like they’re shot from a fire hose.

Fan(boy)s of absurd amounts of violence, and folks who enjoy the trademark visual style of director Tarsem (The Cell), will have a field day in this retelling of the Greek Gods’ battle with the Titans.

Everyone else, it may be better to just walk the other way. A muddled script and some stilted acting by much of the cast make for a production (though an admittedly visually-intoxicating one) that resembles a high school drama club at times. (No offense to high school drama clubs.)

Henry Cavill (The Tudors) is Theseus, a Greek peasant who, after having his village ransacked, leads his people against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), the brutal King of Crete who’s hell-bent on a violent takeover of not only the civilized world but of the Gods up on Mount Olympus, too.

And so Theseus, with the help of the oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and a thief named Stavros (Stephen Dorff), begins his quest to keep Hyperion from getting the Epirus Bow, which would allow him to free the Titans and destroy the Gods.

Along the way we dip our toes into other familiar stories in Greek mythology– the maze and the minotaur, Poseidon stirring up the ocean, and others. And Tarsem does his usual stunning job presenting them with truly unique visuals. Unfortunately, though, the 3D glasses (as usual) dull the experience too much, leaving you almost feel cheated that his vibrant color palette is left clouded and murky.

Cavill and Pinto, who are generally known for being more than capable as actors, have a hard time clawing out of that same murk. And Rourke’s gravelly-voiced, cold blooded Hyperion is remembered more for his brutal actions (smashing a man’s, er, man-parts with a sledgehammer, clawing a guard’s eyes out) than for the performance of the actor doing them.

It’s the script by first-timer Charley Parlapanides and his brother Vlas that is the real culprit here, though. With lines like, “I am a thief, lady. Were it not for being bound in these chains, I would steal your heart,” you can’t help but just roll your eyes and hope another head gets lopped off again soon, so the actor will stop talking.

Immortals doesn’t enjoy the camp of the original Clash of the Titans, or the comparative fun of the 2010 remake, but it is saved (somewhat) by Tarsem’s crazy vision and twisted visuals.

…even the ones that include blood spurts that look like they’re shot from firehoses.

2.5/5 stars