Not surprisingly, I've been talking shit about "Immortals" for... what? A few months now? "Sure," I said, "It's going to look fucking great. The visuals will be stunning. And the story will be crap. And there's no reason to go see it in the theatre because there you'll have to listen to the bullshit dialog..."
You know where this is going, right? One of those big, painful confessions I sometimes have to make: I didn't hate this movie and it wasn't terrible.
Okay - here's the breakdown.
I keep writing about "battle movies" needing to be epic... well... this one was pretty epic. Finally, a smart use of CGI. Finally, swords and slaying and blood and mutilation and men fighting dirty; a terrific "raw-ness" permeated the fights. I like to see guys kicking the crap out of each other... that's kind of what war looks like, right?
I went into this one thinking I'd just be getting a rehash of "300" - not a terrible thing but sort of a waste of my time. It's fairly ridiculous the way that movies cycle around: someone releases something highly stylized and then BAM! We get a flood of movies that all look exactly the same. "Immortals" actually managed to look more like (director) Tarsem Singh's other films than like "300". Which is interesting in the case of a movie as purely "masculine" as this. (I mean, does his work not just scream Bollywood?!)
The story? Managed to be true enough to not make me gag. Managed to be "different enough" to make things interesting. I felt somewhat like I was watching "Titus": a liberal use actual text plus... creative imagination? And while it makes movie watching tolerable for us snooty, educated film-snobs - it unfortunately creates a weird type of fictional fiction that the masses will now believe to be historically accurate. Score another one for Hollywood wrecking history... or something like that.
I was actually surprised by how many "known" actors populated this movie. I had thought it was sort of, "off-season" and would be boasting (mostly) unknown actors. Not the case. Not the case at all.
Related note: is Mickey Rourke not just everywhere right now? He seems to have cornered the market on playing the villain. And I'm not saying he's not born to do it, because he really, truly is; the man sounds like he's been chewing glass since birth - he's built like a tank - and he's got this great combo pack of vacant stare and murderous sneer. Love it.
And John Hurt, nearly painfully famous. In the least offensive way possible I write this next thought: it's nice to see aging actors getting good roles in films (as opposed to being left behind to die in obscurity.)
Alright - getting late now and I should wrap this up. Final thought? Got a few hours and a few bucks and want to be entertained? Go ahead and see "Immortals", I won't judge you for it.
You can watch the trailer here: