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‘Immortals’ living in shadow of ‘300’

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By Victor Mora / Staff Writer

( Relativity Media)

By Victor Mora / Staff Writer

“Immortals,” directed by Tarsem Singh, was everything it was built up to be, visually stunning, bloody and gruesome, action-packed. Basically a typical blockbuster film in every sense of the word.

So there is really no surprise that it lacked just about everything else.

Written by Greek American brothers Charley and Vlas Parlapanides, the film tells the tale of slave hero Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, and his quest to stop the mad King Hyperion  (Mickey Rourke) from conquering the world by unleashing the Titans with the magic Bow of Epirus, which was created by the God of War Ares.

The visual aspects of the film were similar to those of  “300” and why wouldn’t they be? Both films had the same producers.  

With slow motion action scenes and fight sequences that were a Molotov cocktail of blood and carnage as sledge hammers held by a god came down on the skulls of unfortunate soldiers of Hyperion’s army, “Immortals” is a film that meets the expectations of movie goers who enjoy action.

In the movie Hyperion begins his campaign of terror by destroying holy sites and kidnapping the virgin oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto) who is the key to finding the powerful bow because of her visions of the future.

Hyperion’s quest leads him to a small village carved into the cliffs of a mountain where Theseus lives with his mother.  

In his search for the bow, Hyperion kills Theseus’ mother, but only after the hero of the story takes down a collection of Hyperion’s soldiers as he attempts to save his mother from the clutches of death.

Now a captive, Theseus becomes a slave and through fate encounters the Oracle who learns of the part he will play in Hyperion’s nefarious plot.

Along with other captured slaves, Theseus and the oracle escape and journey to find the bow before Hyperion can.

Little does he know that the gods have an interest in the outcome of Hyperion’s actions since he seeks to unleash the Titians but are unable to assist Theseus as mandated by Zeus.  

The comparisons between “Immortals” and “300” begins and ends with visuals.

As far as the storylines go, there is really no comparison.

“Immortals” just seemed like it was trying to be “300” instead of being its own movie.

Understandable, since “300” made a big name for itself, but not a good idea since “300” also already established a reputation that would be difficult to match.

And speaking of visuals, there were way too many shots that were obviously meant to showcase the physiques of the actors.

At times “Immortals” looked like an Abercrombie & Fitch ad with the gods standing around, pouting, flaunting their abs and looking down their noses at Earth.

Other times it excelled at showing the athleticism of the actors with Cavill’s action scenes.

Most of the time, it left the audience wondering when will this end?

Singh is truly a visionary director that uses film as his canvas. His films offer a unique artistic quality that can be seen in the psychological thriller “The Cell” and the fantasy adventure film “The Fall.”

In “Immortals,” however, he does showcase this ability in certain scenes.

The writing did not sync up favorably in that parts of the dialogue seemed to be out of a film set in a modern day American action film rather than a film based on Greek mythology.

All that was missing was an exploding helicopter.

In relation to its marketing campaign, there was no mention of who directed “Immortals” and who the lead actors were.

The only information about the film was that it was made by the same people who made “300.”

Why is that?

Could it be that the director and the lead actors did not want their names mentioned in the trailers?

It’s possible that the advertisers simply thought that the movie’s best chance of success was to link it strictly to its association with “300.”

Most people loved that movie and so maybe they figured if they just played off that movie’s success, “Immortals” would be equally as successful.

Or maybe Singh and Rourke did not want to have association with “Immortals” other than getting a guaranteed pay check because “Immortals” is a money maker and that’s what seems to matter most when it comes to film making these days: a nice fat pay check.

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