Live forever? Tarsem Singh’s Greek action epic is best forgotten


(C) 2010 War of the Gods, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff
Time Out rating:

With his appealingly idiosyncratic, independently funded 2006 passion project, The Fall, Indian ad director Tarsem Singh suggested he might be the acceptable face of CGI-heavy epic fantasy. Scattershot as that film was, its wildly inventive costume and set design and crafty tale-within-a-tale structure set it head and shoulders above blunt, beefy beat-em-ups like 300, released the same year.

So it’s disappointing that, with Immortals, Singh has subsumed his tendency towards visual excess and narrative mayhem in the service of a dull, old-fashioned swords ’n’ sandals romp. New Superman star Henry Cavill is Theseus, the muscular Greek fisherman’s son forced to take up arms when his peaceful province is invaded by the dastardly King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), whose ultimate goal is to release the deadly Titans from their centuries-long imprisonment.

Exactly why Mad Mickey feels the urge to destroy the world remains obscure – but so does much else in this lazily scripted, plot-hole-happy mess. The dialogue is dire, vacillating between blunt heroic declarations – ‘Fight for honour! Fight for your future!’ – and clunky cod-Homeric poetry. But worst of all is the violence on display: considering no one over the age of 12 will find any of this remotely convincing, the number of beheadings, eviscerations and giant-polo-mallet castrations feels wholly inappropriate. Immortals is occasionally redeemed by Singh’s directorial flourishes: a stunning costume, an incongruous set, an utterly bizarre and beautiful final shot. But this won’t be enough to save Immortals from an unholy fate.

Immortals opens nationwide on November 11

By Tom Huddleston
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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