By Dalton Carver
Amazing action visuals and inspiring moments are what make the Greek mythology based film Immortals entertaining and easy to watch. On the same note, a weak storyline, occasional over the top violence, and ridiculous headwear kept me from really taking this movie seriously.
The film, directed by Tarsem Singh, is loosely based on the classical Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy, or the war between the gods and the Titans. When I say loosely based, think of a pair of sweats compared to a pair of skinny jeans. Singh gives a new spin on many traditionally known myths, leading to confusion by those who don’t know them very well.
The movie begins by flashing forward to an important scene later on in the movie in which the main evildoer, Hyperion, portrayed by Mickey Rourke, releases the Titans from their imprisonment under Mount Tartarus. The movie continues in the same fashion that the 2010 film Clash of the Titans did by introducing Theseus and his home, and what the hero must fight for. The conflict is introduced when Hyperion, the king of Crete, declares war on the gods for letting his family die. He starts to invade various holy places in Greece, looking for the mythical and elusive Epirus bow, a weapon used by Ares in the battle where the gods imprisoned the Titans.
Theseus, fatherless, lived with his mother, but was often seen with an elderly man that lived in the village. Later, this old man is revealed to be Zeus in disguise, indirectly influencing Theseus. Theseus’ village, which is unnamed, happens to be in the way of Hyperion’s insane quest for conquering the gods, and the residents are told to evacuate. In the process of doing so, Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, and his mother are accosted by another citizen of the village, claiming that the peasants are to leave the next day, while the rest escape in a timely manner. This leads to Theseus starting a scuffle between the citizen and the soldiers leading the evacuation. Theseus disarms and disgraces a guard named Lysander, who later decides to defect to Hyperion’s cause. Lysander is similar to the deformed Ephialtes character in the 2006 movie 300, who betrays his brethren and then later regrets it.
Lysander informs Hyperion that the village is fleeing and unprotected, a perfect opportunity for an attack. In the ensuing slaughter, Theseus’ mother is killed by Hyperion himself, leading to his main grudge with the Heraklion king. Theseus is then captured and made a slave for the cause of Hyperion. However, unknown to Hyperion, Theseus has been indirectly influenced and trained by Zeus, making him a fearsome and skilled warrior.
While a slave, he meets with an Oracle, played by Frieda Pinto, who recognizes that he’s been influenced by the gods. The Oracle receives a vision that shows Theseus embracing Hyperion and his cause. Upon learning of this vision, Theseus is bound and determined to do the exact opposite. The Oracle then leads Theseus to the one thing that Hyperion desires, the Epirus bow. The plot follows a path you would expect from this point on, not throwing any unexpected punches. A lot of people die and the conclusion comes as expected.
The most enticing and refined portion in the film is the combat, which rivals that of 300. The action scenes are just something that really makes you go, “Whoa.” The scene where the gods fight the newly released Titans is especially satisfying.
However, it’s difficult to make a movie of this type without doing things similar to the movies that have already been made about the subject. For example, Hyperion has a massive army, while the Greeks have a very, very small opposing force. The Greeks, who have barricaded themselves in a large fortress, must use the small tunnel access to funnel Hyperion’s forces through. Does this sound like 300 to anyone else? On another note, it’s difficult to take the Gods seriously simply because of the things they decide to wear. Poseidon’s helmet is especially ridiculous, and it really offsets the fact that the gods are characters to be taken seriously by characters in the film and the audience alike. Hyperion’s head gear is just as poorly designed, having rabbit ears and looking like it could pick up at least four channels with decent reception.
Overall, Immortals is an immensely satisfying watch and will immediately fulfill anyone’s craving for action. Its themes are decent, explaining that immortality comes through deeds, not through literally living forever. The action scenes are nearly unmatched by any recent films that come to mind and will literally drop your jaw with how cool everything looks. Despite some minor setbacks, Immortals is a decent film of its genre, though it certainly won’t be winning any awards.
Dalton Carver is a freshman majoring in communication. You can email him at email@example.com.