Title: Immortals (2011)
Director: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Pinto, Freida Pinto, Stephen Dorff, John Hurt
Immortals, the latest Tarsem Singh visual fest is the big fantasy film we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the film that that crappy Clash of the Titans (2010) remake should have been. Here’s a director how knows how to make a film based on Greek Mythology and he knows how to do it right! All you really need to know is that this is a Tarsem Singh film, the same director behind such visually arresting films as The Cell (2000) and The Fall (2006). Tarsem’s Immortals is so visually rich, that one viewing will probably not be enough to absorb everything it has to offer. I was thoroughly impressed with Immortals, I wasn’t expecting it to be such an explosion of coolness. I was expecting a film that was going to be mostly eye candy (and it was) but damn, Immortals was just pure awesomeness.
Story presents us with the tale of Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) the King of Crete. Hyperion hates the gods for not saving his wife and son from death, so he makes it his mission to find the Epirus Bow, a magical bow created by Ares, the God of War. His intentions are to release these evil gods called ‘The Titans’ who are imprisoned on
. With the release of these evil Gods, Hyperion wants to kill Zeus and the rest of the gods so that he can rule over the world with an iron fist. Meanwhile Theseus, a slave and a bastard lives in a humble coastal town. Sadly, said town is being invaded by Hyperion’s armies which continue to take over every piece of land they comes across.. Theseus’s mother is slaughtered by Hyperion right before his eyes. Now it’s up to Theseus to avenge his mothers death and bring his people to freedom! Will he accept his destiny and achieve his full potential? Mount Tartarus
While watching Immortals I kept feeling like I was watching a sequel to Clash of the Titans (1981) or something, it had that feeling of grandeur that the original Clash of the Titans had. And I kept thinking that Tarsem should have been the director to make that Clash of the Titans remake, because this guy really gets Greek Mythology, he knows where to draw from in order to get things right. He knows how NOT to make ‘The Greek Gods’ come off as cheesy superheroes. Immortals will undoubtedly, get compared to the old Ray Harryhausen fantasy flicks from the 60’s and 70’s and it will also draw comparisons to Zack Snyder’s 300 (2007) for two reasons. One, they share the same producers and two the way they were made; meaning lots of CGI, with only the actors, props and certain sets being real. Truth be told, this is the best kind of film for filmmakers to go crazy with CGI on. Tarsem takes full advantage of special effects at his disposal and gives us some truly spectacular visuals. The kind of visuals you will only get on a Tarsem film. The computer generated images on this production are top notch, the colors, amazing. I highly recommend this film for many reasons, but the biggest one is that it’s a beauty to look at. The effects, the colors, the wardrobe all add up to an impressive looking film.
The themes played out in the movie are varied, for example we follow Theseus, a slave who has excellent warrior skills because he’s been trained by Zeus himself. With his character we follow two themes, that of revenge (for his murdered mother) and that of becoming the leader of his people, of waking up, staying alive and rising up to the challenge of going up against the ultimate evil, an evil that is rising yet again after being dormant for such a long time. So basically, it’s that idea of learning to believe in ourselves, and living up to our full potential. Of becoming the best human beings we can. Because maybe then, by arriving at our fullest potential, we’ll have the Gods on our side, backing us up. Then we have the story of the evil tyrant taking over the land. King Hyperion (played by Mickey Rourke) is hell bent on world domination, even going up against the gods themselves in order to do so. Through him we explore the ideas of an evil government mistreating its people, and that of a rebellious leader - the one most fit for the job- taking the rains of leadership and standing up against the tyranny. There’s a bit of a religious debate as well. Are their gods really listening to our prayers? Or do our prayers fall on mute ears? Do the gods want us to take care of ourselves, so that we can really show our worth? Interesting themes in deed.
But this is not a film lost in characters endlessly babbling, nope, this is an extremely fast paced film. Something spectacular is happening all the time on this one, if it’s not Gods coming down from
to intervene in human affairs, then it’s the humans killing themselves in bloody battles and trust me, the battles get really graphic! This is something that amazed me about this one! When someone gets impaled by a sword or a spear, you really see it; the camera does not cut away. When someone is decapitated or his head is smashed by a war hammer, you will see it! Human bodies are tossed left and right, skulls are smashed, eyes are gauged…things get ugly! Tarsem slows things down during the battle scenes so that you can see the blood flowing and the bodies and skulls being cut in half! These scenes are the ones that will garner Immortals comparisons to 300, but Immortals is gorier with it’s battle sequences. And by the way, I didn’t see it 3-D because the 3-D version was starting much later, but you can bet your asses I’ll be seeing it again this weekend, with the glasses on this time! From what I hear, Immortals is meant to be enjoyed in Three Dimensions! And if what I saw in 2-D is any indication, than those comments are true. Mount Olympus
Finally, it was cool to see Henry Cavill in action. All I kept thinking was how he’s the next actor who will be playing Superman and how perfect he is for the role of ‘The Last Son of Krypton’, a great casting choice. The ending of this film leaves the doors wide open for a sequel and though Tarsem is not a director known for making sequels, I wouldn’t mind seeing a second Immortals film. At all! In fact, a sequel is probably a done deal, judging by how much I enjoyed this film, The Film Connoisseur predicts that Immortals will become a huge hit over the next couple of days. And that will probably happen because of strong word of mouth. Once people see this movie, and word spreads around of how awesome it is; Immortals can only go up. Currently, Tarsem is directing a film called Mirror, Mirror which is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I’m looking forward to seeing how Tarsem tackles a Brothers Grimm fairytale, I’m sure it will be another visual feast! So anyhow, drop what ever you are doing right now and go watch this one! This is the best fantasy film to have come in a long time, and it does not disappoint. Trust me when I say that this one was meant to be enjoyed on the silver screen.
Rating: 5 out of 5