22 Apr 2012

Immortals (2011)

For those that read my blog you know that I am a bit of a classicist when it comes to film adaptations. I strongly feel that you can successfully adapt any story to film as long as you stay true to the basic premise of the story.   Maybe a steam punk version of The Wizard of Oz, or more of a horror based story where the cowardly lion is a were-wolf. But you still need Dorothy, her friends and the journey to Oz. If you go off on a crazy tangent and depart from the original premise you create highly expensive dross which no amount of special effects can save.

" I know isnthis version of Spiderman lets make him, like the heir to this vast fortune and when he is a kid his parents are killed in front of him. Yeah! and he can be like 'oh no you didn't, because he is a wise cracking, rap'n hero from Philly. Is Will Smith free?"

For example when I first heard they were remaking Clash of the Titans  I was excited. The original film, was a largely a departure from the original myth, but I had fond nostalgic memories of the 1981 movie. The plasticine monsters and stop motion animation was cool, and while not an accurate depiction of the Perseus myth, the story was very entertaining and and full of the heroic daring that a 10 year old me expected from a hero.  You  have probably read my extended rant on why the remake of  Clash of the Titans was utter garbage.
It was with trepidation then that I heard there was a new movie about the Greek hero Theseus. Mythology and fairy tales exist to this day for a very simple reason, they are good stories.

Here is a synopsis of  Immortals:

When the world was new two factions of immortal beings fought for dominion of earth. The losers were incarcerated under the mountain Tarterous and called Titans. The winners lived in Olympus and were called Gods. King Hyperion (Micky Rourke) bitter with the loss of his family decides that there is no place for gods in his world. He will release the Titans, destroy the gods and conquer Greece. All he needs is to find the lost Epirus bow, and he can set the titans free. But one man has the strength to oppose him, Theseus. Trained by an enegmatic old man (John Hurt) to not just be a skilled warrior but to consider the reasons why men fight, Theseus is being prepared for events that will make him immortalised in legend.

Ensue Grecian hijinks!

It sounds a lot like Clash of the Titans  doesn't it. And the question is, was I disappointed after I watched this movie?

Yes I was!

I was bloody disappointed that I did not see this on the big screen because it was stunning!

The director is Tarsem Singh, Tarsem has a incredible talent for cinematic aesthetic. Tarsem is not the best storyteller which usually drives me mental, but I knew that if he directed Immortals  then it would be a damn pretty film, and it was. Any man that successfully incorporates the art of Dali and Michelangelo in his film has a talent.If fact the whole film is styled in a crazy blend of rennaiscence and surrealsit art. He even choreographed an exciting fight scene in the style of classical Greek art!
Yes the visuals are exciting but what about the story and the actors? Well just quickly I should add that my partner (whose love and knowledge of art history enlightened me about many of the artistic inspirations in the film) was happy to watch it due to the lead being played by the talented Henry Cavill, late of the TV series The Tudors. Cavill give us a solid performance in the role as a Greek hero. And for the ladies he is very easy on the eye. Micky Rourke plays a great  King Hyperion; understated, violent and remorseless.  John Hurt, Stephen Dorf and the  rest of the supporting cast are talented and entertaining. 

But this is a story of Theseus. Are there gods, a Labyrinth and the all important Minotaur? Yes there are, but Tarsem has tried in part to return to the origins of the myth. But I am not saying anything more, as I don't give spoilers, except to add I really liked the minotaur. No it wasn't a brilliant script or deeply engaging story, especially as it is based on one of the great legends of Greek mythology. But I will say that for me this film was everything Clash promised but did not deliver. It was fun, action packed, artistic and highly entertaining and it made sense.

I rate Immortals 7 heroic Monkeys which was limited by watching it on a tv.  If you have a projector and a sound system it will make this a fun experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment