Saturday, November 19, 2011

Immortals (R/110 Min.)


The gods have declared they will not become involved in the conflicts of man unless the Titans are released. Good thinking. For those of you who have managed not to see any previews for Immortals, the Titans fought against the gods, lost and were imprisoned; supposedly for eternity. You see where this is headed, don’t you? If you don’t see, you’ll probably love this movie and all it’s unpredictability. If you do see, you’ll spend most of the film as I did; just waiting for it to happen.

I have yet to see a friendly review of this film. Sadly, I feel compelled to join them. This is yet another movie about which Spike would yell at me, “It’s not real!!!” I know this and I knew this going in yet I can’t help but point out some of the really idiotic decisions made by the characters; more to the point…the gods. First, you (the gods) already know the Titans are tough sons of guns or their threat wouldn’t have been such to require eternal restraint. But knowing this you imprison them where? Somewhere on Mt. Olympus so that they can be guarded by the gods themselves? Nooooo! You imprison them inside Mt. Tartaros…on Earth. Well done, you.

Next, you know for a fact that something exists which can release the Titans. The Bow of Epirus. And where is the Bow of Epirus? It’s trapped in a rock formation, in a shrine, on the outskirts of a small village. On Olympus? You would think that but no. It’s on Earth too. It HAS to be on the other side of the planet, far far away from the Titans though. It just has to. Oh now why make it that hard for the bad guys? Let’s put it so close that you probably don’t even need to change horses to get between the two places. But, of course, the gods are going to make it darn near impossible to break through the rock formation in the shrine, on the outskirts of a small village, close to the Titans, on Earth, right? Ummm…okay. If you believe that please go back to the first paragraph. Read it again. Enjoy the show.

Third, let’s prove to man that you’re not going to step in and help them…ever. King Hyperion wasn’t completely stupid. He knew what he could get away with. Pretty much anything he wanted. And he was correct. Who ended up stopping Hyperion? Not the gods.

Finally, you said you would not become involved in the conflicts of man unless the Titans were released. How about becoming involved just before. You know, wait until there is no shadow of a doubt what is about to happen and then stop it. Instead, you choose to wait until the Titans, who you obviously fear, are set free and then step in. And when you do finally saddle up you’re going to bring hundreds of gods with you to turn the tide, correct? How about just four? Good idea. Then be surprised when the Titans overpower you. Being Greek gods and all you’d think you’d know the meaning of the word hubris and why it’s not a good thing to have.

I wanted to completely like this movie. A friend on Facebook said that “IMMORTALS is epically awful.” While I don’t think it was that bad it wasn’t far off. They wanted so badly for this movie to be like 300. They even went so far as to use the old make-them-come-through-a-small-space-so-we-don’t-have-to-fight-them-all-at-once ploy which was a big hit in that film. Unfortunately that didn’t work for very long in 300. And we all know how that ended. It does seem to have fared a little better in Immortals. What I really liked (insert sarcasm font here) was when the good guy (Theseus) was running down the tunnel, fighting bad guys as he went along, and we get to see little tableaus of other fighters in windows along the sides. I feel the need to point out yet another really bad decision. Why on earth would you build a tunnel so deep and with a gate that is impenetrable – unless someone is wielding the Bow of Epirus – and put rooms just inside the gate with stairs that lead to the rest of the keep? Maybe entrances from the keep side and not the OUTside would have been a wiser choice?

Enough of all that. Let’s discuss the acting, I mean, filler that kept this from being just one big action scene. I guess we did need some back story. I actually liked these parts the best. Well, some of them. Henry Cavill did a good enough job as Theseus but I think he was chosen more for his body than his acting. Not that I’m complaining. He is not difficult to watch. They also included Stephen Dorff. He would so be on my freebie list if I had such a thing and condoned having one. I guess Henry can be added to that also. But I think I’d need more than five. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you probably never watched Friends which is probably a good thing. One person in this film who would NOT make that list is Mickey Rourke. He was very believable to me as Mad King Hyperion. Mainly because I didn’t like him in the first place. Mickey…not the king. Okay, the king too. I have no idea why I don’t like him. He just gives me the creeps. Maybe that is his publicist’s goal. If so…mission accomplished.

I liked pretty much all of the gods but, then again, that’s what they wanted us to do. They were beautiful. Yes, even the men. None of them really got to talk much except for Zeus and Athena so I can’t really comment on their acting. I can, however, comment on their head gear. Seriously? What were you thinking? How threatening can you be with gold twigs and seashells sitting atop your noggin? I do have to say a big, “Yea for you!” to Kellan Lutz. You have this AND Breaking Dawn out at the same time. Talk about exposure. And speaking of exposure, the skirts the male gods were wearing covered all the naughty parts….just. The costume designers had a lot and a little to do in this movie.

I loved some of the background scenes in Immortals. The four statues holding up Mt. Tartaros from the inside? So neat! I liked what we could see of Mt. Olympus. I guess they didn’t have a big enough budget for all the marble that would be needed to show more. The walls running alongside Mt. Tartaros made me think of LOTR and now I want to watch those movies again. The little village was kind of neat too. The entire place was tucked in to the side of a mountain. I really liked the shrine except for the fact that it was a big maze. I guess they only wanted the faithful to be able to get in or out. I questioned why Theseus cut his leg before he went in but it didn’t take me long to figure out that he was marking the way with his bloody footprints. Gross!…and cool! I would like to know how he found his way to the center in the first place.

This film was rated R for one reason and one reason only. The violence. The nudity was limited to a derriere (my mom doesn’t like me to say “butt”) shot and a side view of a woman’s breast. Well, unless you count all the statues. If you do then there was a LOT of nudity. One of the reviews I read mentioned the diaphanous clothing of the Oracle. I didn’t notice but, then again, I wasn’t looking that hard either. The one sex scene in the entire film was limited to implied sex. There wasn’t much cursing and I don’t recall any drinking at all. We do get to watch Mickey Rourke eat which invoked a different kind of violence all on it’s own. Why do they always make the bad guys eat like that? Were they never taught table manners? Ewwww! Now back to the violence. It wasn’t just people beating each other up and killing each other. It was a literal blood bath. There was spewage, if you will. I was so glad I didn’t watch the 3-D version. What made it worse was these scenes were in slow-motion. Yuck! One of the Titans is cleaved in two and we get to see his insides quivering. This is definitely not a movie for young children, my mom or anyone with a weak stomach.

Would I recommend this movie to anyone? I really don’t know the answer to that question. I would almost say that if you liked 300 you’ll like Immortals but this was just lacking…something. I was mad about several things that happened so I don’t want to encourage anyone else to have to experience the same. While I disagree that this movie was epically awful it definitely wasn’t epically great either. It was epically meh! which, I’m sure, is not what the producers were going for.

P.S. The only reason to stay through the credits is because of the names. I challenge you to accurately pronounce them all. It was Greek to me.

P.P.S. The ending seemed to be setting up the chance for a sequel. I really hope not.

P.P.P.S. Orlando Bloom and Luke Evans (Zeus) need to be related to each other in some way, shape or form in a movie. I'm just sayin'.

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