Take the best parts of “Troy” and “300” and mix with the excesses of “Clash of the Titans” and you have “Immortals,” a stylish, new Greek mythology drama that effortlessly mixes glistening abs, amour and l’amour.
Loosely based on the Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy “Immortals” sees a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) on a mission of revenge against the man who killed his mother, the ruthless the Titan Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). Hyperion is searching for the Epirus Bow, a legendary weapon which will allow him to free the rest of his vicious Titans army from their eternal prison. The By law the Olympians—like Poseidon (Kellan Lutz) and Zeus (Luke Evans)—are anable to help, but with the aid of a beautiful fortune teller Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and a slave thief named Stavros (Stephen Dorff) Theseus goes to war.
Greek mythology hasn’t faired well on the big screen in recent years. From 1960s the heyday of the sword and sandal epics Greco-Roman stories have fallen out of favor. Occasionally a movie like “300” will beak through, but that had more to do with the action, violence and considerable physical charms of its cast as it was about the story.
“Immortals” has some of the same appeal. The violence is amped—giant hammers squish enemies’ heads in a display unseen on film since David Cronenerg filled watermelons up with fake blood and used shotguns to spray the set of “Scanners” with gore and a castration scene will make at last have the audience very uncomfortable—and the unusually attractive cast is suitably semi-clad, although the Gods look more like club kids ready for a night out at Limelight than deities, but it lacks some of the punch of its predecessor.
Cheesy dialogue is often a trademark of sword and sandal movies, but even Steve Reeves would have a had a hard time uttering, “I am a thief my lady, and if not for these chains I would steal your heart,” as Stephen Dorff valiantly does in mid movie.
Couple that with an emphasis on style above story—it’s a beauty of a movie, every frame designed to look as good as the actor’s sculpted faces—and you have a movie that often feels like a Rubens painting come to life more than a narrative.
“Immortals” tells of another kind of Greek tragedy than the one playing out in the newspapers right now. What it lacks in cohesive storytelling it makes up in beauty, but one can’t help but wonder, if Greece has fortune telling oracles, why didn’t they warn us about the debt crisis?