Everyone may be jumping on the 3D bandwagon these days, but Tarsem Singh's sword-and-sandals epic Immortals is a movie perfectly fit for the 3D screen. The opening scene foreshadows the predictable plot to come, but that doesn't make this film any less of a bloody-good visual masterpiece. And while it's impossible to ignore the obvious comparison to 300 (it has the same producers, after all), Immortals has a few tricks up its sleeve, allowing it to stand apart. The brutal and psychotic King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) and his Heraklion legions are on a quest for the invincible Bow of Epirus. Once it's in his possession, he will be able to unleash the Titans and overthrow the gods on Mt. Olympus. On a seemingly insignificant pillaging spree, he comes across Theseus (Henry Cavill), a lowly stonemason at the very bottom of the social food chain.
Little does Hyperion know, Theseus has been trained by Zeus in disguise on Earth and is one hell of a fierce warrior (not to mention a generally gorgeous creature). After Theseus's mother is murdered by Hyperion, Theseus goes on a quest to take the king down. But as the movie progresses, Theseus's mission evolves when he realizes this crusade has a far larger reach than a personal vendetta. Once a nonbeliever in the gods, he comes to understand that they are on his side. Keep reading to learn where Immortals is truly visionary and where it needs divine intervention.
For as involved as this story sounds, it's a surprisingly anticlimactic moment when Theseus finally comes across the Bow of Epirus. The fact that the film is chock-full of eye candy helps out, but much of the supporting cast is lost in the shuffle. The reason? There is just too much going on in the film. Between the gorgeous gods, Hyperion's minions, and Theseus's crew, it's hard to really connect with anyone's struggle. The saving grace on the character front is Rourke. In a word, he's brilliant. King Hyperion is heartless, ghastly, and psychotic. With the uncanny ability to crawl deep under your skin, Rourke's portrayal is completely terrifying from start to finish. It also looks like his intense training from The Wrestler continues to pay off: he kills it (literally) in each scene.
On Immortals' quest to appeal to a female audience, there is an injection of some much-welcome girl power, and some less-welcome romance. Phaedra (Freida Pinto) is the virgin oracle, whose ability to see into the future puts her in a position of power. She's the obvious love interest of Theseus from the get-go. But while she appears to be a delicate flower, she and her accompanying kick-ass posse of girls prove to be powerful, faithful, and unwavering.
Even though you know the battle between the Titans and the gods is coming, it doesn't make it any less of a breathtaking feat. But beware, this film is not for the faint of heart. There is so much gore and hand-to-hand combat in this film that at certain points, I had to remind myself I wasn't watching something out of the Resident Evil franchise. If you're down with handsome humans taking part in beautifully choreographed, graphic violence, or if you just really liked 300, you'll be impressed with Immortals.