Movies directed by Tarsem Singh all have one thing in common: they are imperfect.
Movies directed by Tarsem Singh all have one thing in common: they are imperfect. They all suffer from the same problem: eye-candy syndrome. Is that a nice way of saying they are all “nice tries”? Well, I suppose if that were the case with only one film, but three in a row? That’s a trend, and not a good one.
In Immortals, Theseus is a mortal man that has been chosen by the Greek God Zeus to lead the fight against the poorly cast Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion, who is on a brutal rampage across Greece to find the Epirus Bow so that he might destroy humanity, and the Gods as well. He seems particularly pissed at the Gods, though.
Tarsem Singh shoots this much like 300 – LOTS of green screen, lots of tinted coloring, lots of intense slow-motion shots. I even saw thins in 3D and it was really not entirely necessary. Although not terrible in this case, it’s still another pointless excercise in a technology that’s already boring as well as pain-inducing.
One of the problems with Tarsem’s films is often a weakness in the actors’ performances, whether it be the actors themselves, as in The Fall, or just miscasting, like Jennifer Lopez in The Cell. Or here with Mickey Rourke. I just couldn’t really buy him as King Hyperion. And he kept wearing a helmet that looked like a lobster claw on his head. I kept thinking of that villainous monster in the old Ultraman episode. But otherwise, the acting here was at least acceptable – well, mostly. Stephen Dorff was out of place, too. I think he was just playing himself. And even Henry Cavill, though mostly fine, made me uncomfortable with his rousing speech to the Greek army a-la-William Wallace in Braveheart. And keep in mind, this is going to be our new Superman. We’ll see. But Freida Pinto was fine as the seer Phaedra, but she is really gorgeous, so I may be a little biased. She was pleasantly distracting.
How does the film look? Well, in the tradition of all Tarsem Singh’s films, it looks completely amazing. Sure, perhaps a little more derivative of 300, but still it has some of the more creative visuals than most films and it really is a pleasure to view. There appear to be a few exotic locales, as Tarsem is inclined to use. But Immortals is a film of lots of shiney things, no real substance.
One thing Tarsem has added here is some significant comic book blood and gore violence. Most of this come late in the film during some great battle sequences, though it is present throughout. The last act is full of it and frankly, I enjoyed that more than I expected. It’s some pretty intense stuff, but it’s also got a slow-motion choreographed beauty all its’ own.
But in the end, I can’t really recommend Immortals 3D much. I suppose if you had a rainy day and it turned up on Netflix Instant, you could check it out. Just look at the pretty pictures. But don’t expect much else. Two, maybe two and a half kittenhands at best.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, probably would’ve liked this more about 10 years ago.