Monday, May 21, 2012

DVD Review: Immortals

I tend to try and avoid quoting or referencing other people's reviews in my own, especially when the other people are about a thousand times better known than I am. But, when Roger Ebert called Immortals 'the best looking bad movie you will ever see' (paraphrased) I really can't find a single argument with it.

The plot is devoted to...I'm not entirely sure, frankly. It's greek mythology days and some jackass named Hyperion is wandering around looking for a bow that will let him unleash the Titans because...I'm not quite sure. Something about his family dying and the Gods not stopping it. Anyway, Theseus (yeah him again) is captured and his mother is murdered by Hyperion himself, so he decides to fight for the other side, rescuing the Oracle that Hyperion needs to find the aforementioned bow.

The astute among you might have already guessed what the issue is with this movie, but I'm in a generous mood, so I'll start with the movie's good points: It looks great. Okay yeah, the visual design resembles what Jack Kirby would come up with after drinking heavily at a Lady Gaga concert (seriously, the fuck is this?) but the action sequences are exceptionally well shot and put together. It was direcred by Tarsem Singh, a director well known for his distinct and unique visual style and this is easily one of his most accomplished visions, even if he (like the director of the other visually distinct Greek action movie) is a little too fond of speed ramping. The entire movie seems in service of this style, with the characters not wearing clothes, but costumes, and not wielding weapons, but props, not constructed, but designed (for a masterclass in this kind of style in a BETTER movie, go watch the Sweeney Todd movie).

Unfortunately, that's maybe half the movie there, and the other half (IE, plot and characters) is essentially a train wreck. The dialogue is awful, the characters silly and all of it is really thinly sketched. I'm still not sure why Hyperion is after the Gods, just by way of an example. This is compounded by some awkward pacing, in which a large section of the movie is given to a LONG ass second act where they try to characterize everyone, and I find myself screaming “I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!”

I dunno. It's one of those movies where the action sequences are so good and the plot sequences so terrible, that I was half-tempted just to fast forward through the shittier parts. It's better than the remake of Clash of the Titans, but that's the definition of damning with faint praise. If you're in the mood for a Greek actioner and your worried about wearing out your copy of 300, then maybe? But that's a very specific need. Otherwise, I'd give this one a pass.

Elessar is a 22 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he finds the title odd, given that not even the Gods are properly immortal.

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