Immortals (2011)

Rating: C

Dir: Tarsem Singh
Star: Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff

Occupying a somewhat uneasy ground between 300 and Clash of the Titans, the hero here is Theseus (Cavill). He has to stop King Hyperion (Rourke) from finding and unleashing the Epirus Bow, a lost weapon which will free the Titans from their resting place and cause…something quite bad, one imagines. Theseus’s allies include the virgin oracle Phaedra (Pinto), who by the end of the movie is neither, and master thief Stavros (Dorff). Meanwhile the Greek gods are watching over things, but there’s some kind of divine Prime Directive at work, and they can’t interfere directly.

Except, it appears, when necessary to the plot – a phrase that should also likely be applied to Phaedra’s visions, which act more as a hint sheet for Theseus’s adventure game. Despite his best efforts, of course, the bow ends up in the hands of Hyperion, though disappointingly, he doesn’t get to yell “Release the Titan!” at any point. They get released anyway, and it all ends in a huge battle. Which is pretty much what you’d expect. There’s no doubt Tarsem brings a certain visual style to proceedings, and the fight scenes are generally well-staged [especially once the gods get their arses off the fence; that final melee is such a cut above, it feels a shame they took so long to show up].

But it all seems pretty cold and emotionally unengaging, with Cavill not particularly memorable and Rourke apparently phoning it in as well. Pinto staves off a Mumbai riot by using a body-double for her nude scenes, which could otherwise have been the most memorable thing here. The tales of Greek heroes and gods have made it through the millennia, standing the test of time. The same can not be said of this movie, which will probably not survive past the end of this year in the pantheon of cinematic lore. It’s likely significant that I could find a lot more to say about the execrable Nine Lives than this piece of slick MSG-laden Hollywood product.