Wednesday, June 6, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Immortals

2011, Tarsem Singh (The Cell) -- download

You probably know the director as just Tarsem, the visually stunning director who did The Cell all those years ago, and was then known for directing the video for R.E.M's Losing My Religion.  And now he just did Mirror, Mirror ?!?  Anywayz, his style is clearly his signature -- the color palate, the costuming and the set dressing are all incredible, works of art unto themselves.  But where does that fit into movie making?  Does it make good movie?  Is it just extraneous window dressing to mask bad or uninspired films? There is probably just not enough of a body of work to answer the question, but unto itself, with just this movie -- maybe.

Immortals is a snapshot of the greek myths, the story being that King Hyperion wants to free the Titans to have them destroy the world, in revenge for the loss of his family.  The Gods place Theseus, the slave with the heart of steel, in his way.  When you say "based on" in this context, you mean "not at all".  Theseus was the guy who killed the Minotaur but never wrangled with the Titans or Hyperion.  There is a minotaur in this movie but the connection is loose.  Amusingly, this movie has the basic plot as Wrath of the Titans where a reluctant hero is also forced to foil the freeing of the Titans from Tartarus.

You would think I didn't like the movie, but in fact, I enjoyed it immensely.  I am not hung up on purity of myth adaptations, enjoying them being redone for the sake of a good swords & sandals movie.  The use of Tarsem's visual style as well as his continued use of CGI to supplement the look just made me enjoy it more.  He is allowed to make things BIG and awe-inspiring.  This is over the top as a myth should be.  The battle scenes are horrific and stunning.  Mickey Rourke as Hyperion is creepy and dangerous, a solid villain.  There is magic, incredible and powerful!  The supporting cast, and by that I mean the actors all supported the look & feel, is settled in their roles and invested.  This was by no means a good movie but something to be enjoyed for what it is, a visual play for the eyes for fans of swords & fantasy battles.