Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Thu Nov 10 2011With 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 ‘The Fall’ 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.
Author: Tom Huddleston