Friday, April 13, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Immortals (2011) **½

R, 110 min.
Director: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Writers: Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Joseph Morgan, Anne Day-Jones, Greg Bryk, Isabel Lucas, Daniel Sharman, Kellan Lutz

Tarsem’s movies are always a pleasure to look at. “Immortals” is no exception. “Visually stunning” seems an understatement for this movie. What’s more, it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be in terms of acting and dialogue. Its story structure is kind of falling apart, however.

Mostly the story is torn out from underneath it in the film’s final minutes. I didn’t expect a complex story. It’s kind of “Clash of the Titans” meets “300”, and they aren’t exactly worlds apart from each other. There’s this bad guy, played by Mickey Rourke, who wants a special weapon that was hidden by the gods so he can free the Titans to wreak havoc upon the world. There’s this peasant, who looks suspiciously like Superman (in fact he is, in next summer’s “Man of Steel”), who is the only person with the power to stop the baddie. Well, the gods have the power too, but Zeus doesn’t want the gods to interfere with the world of men. But, he’s interfering a little… Well, OK, there are some complications, but it isn’t hard to figure out what’s going on or how it’s going to go down ahead of time.

That leaves the action, which is of the typical action excellence of today’s films in terms of staging and effects. Dramatically, it’s all a little lacking. There aren’t any stakes for the audience. We don’t get to know or care much about the characters and all that blah, blah, blah you always hear from critics about action movies. But it’s true. What really irked me though was the ending, which made everything that came before it pointless. The war still rages on so what did any of the stuff in the movie matter anyway? If you’re into the whole sword and sandal thing, and you turn your mind off before watching, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this a little more than I did.

No comments: