Amid a sea of tearjerking family films and sappy chick flicks this holiday season comes the chest-thumping, testosterone-infused film, Immortals.
Inspired by the Greek mythology of Theseus, Immortals teams a perfectly chiseled cast including Henry Cavill as Theseus, Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion and Luke Evans as the Zeus. Similar to the original myth, the maniacal King Hyperion is on a mission to avenge the death of his family after the gods failed to cure them of their illness. He wages war on Olympus and embarks on a relentless search to find the almighty Epirus Bow, which is the only weapon that is powerful enough to release the Titans from Mount Tartarus and destroy the gods. That is, unless Theseus, a peasant chosen by Zeus to stand up against King Hyperion, doesn't find it first.
That kick starts a series of epic and brutal fight scenes between Theseus and King Hyperion's men and servile creatures leading to the ultimate brawl between two commanding men and their equally emotion-filled armies.
With its spectacular special effects and beautifully choreographed scenes (director Tarsem Singh's signature style), Immortals does do its job--entertain and engage the audience, without making us think too hard. In other words, it's not completely asinine. While its story isn't especially new, the movie doesn't slack on plot development and remains a good popcorn movie. Even if you're not really into the whole mythology scene, you may still enjoy the movie and performances.
Speaking of which, Rourke does a fairly convincing job not only being quirky (if he could manage to be a meanie without devouring random fruits at the same time), but also being a ruthless warrior who would even obliterate women and children to prove a point. Cavill is fine in a somewhat breakout big screen role for him (he's previously starred in 2006's Tristan + Isolde and is currently suiting up for the role of Superman in Man of Steel). Some of his line delivery may not have been the most believable, but, hey, he's starring in a mythological story about two men chasing after a magical bow and arrow....so, how impressive does it have to be?
Evans as Zeus is pretty great in the movie, and is simply arresting to watch. Stephen Dorff as Stavros, who becomes Theseus's right hand man, is also pretty good in the film. But Freida Pinto, on the other hand, fails yet again (see comments about the actress in Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to seduce the audience as Phaedra, the oracle who foresees Theseus's doomed future. Phaedra's able to entice Theseus, but Pinto's onscreen performance doesn't do anything to attract the audience and is quite dull.
Overall, Immortals is a pretty decent popcorn flick. Will it stand the test of time? Probably not, but the provocative special effects will leave a lasting impression on the audience.