Immortals is the story of King Hyperion’s declaration of war on humanity. Hyperion (Rourke) is the ruler of a huge army, all brutally scarred across the face to mark their commitment to their king. These warriors fight across Greece to further Hyperion’s quest to be an all-conquering ruler.
Hyperion’s true desire is to find the Epirus Bow, a mythical weapon of infinite power made by the god Ares, which can unleash the Titans and in turn destroy and bring to an end the rule of the gods.
The gods cannot stop Hyperion’s quest directly as ancient law decrees they cannot interfere in man’s conflict. As a result, Zeus anoints a peasant, Theseus (Cavill), as the leader of his people and the saviour of humanity.
It’s grandiose stuff and based around the classical myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy. Those of you who took classical studies in secondary school or college will have been well versed in such ancient soap operas from a young age. But in more recent times everyone is getting a classical studies education – albeit one with a very poetic licence – from Hollywood.
300 and Clash of the Titans are some of the previous titles in this ever-growing genre. Essentially, if you liked those films, there will be plenty more for you to feast on in Immortals.
The classic Nietzschean concept of will to power is the main theme of the film. Hyperion uses his subjective evil to overthrow and subjugate all in his path. Meanwhile, the righteous Theseus attempts to eschew the temptation to join him, in favour of defending the true and the good.
The brutality of genocide is also broached and the script is surprisingly thought-provoking and philosophical in many of its musings.
To a large extent the film works. The central performances from Cavill and Rourke, especially, are good.
Rourke is commanding and overbearing as an overlord and he makes a superb villain.
The supporting cast is ho-hum with Stephen Dorff seeming to think he is in California in the 1990s and love interest Freida Pinto just being a bit dull.
The real juice of the movie - and what most people who pay a tenner will want - is the action. And that action is sublime.
Filmed in 3D, the technique works well and captures the barren landscapes portrayed by Irish cinematographer Brendan Galvin excellently.
In my opinion, it is the best use of 3D since Avatar - Galvin and director Tarsem Singh craft a visual feast.
The fight and battle scenes are top notch and the director pulls no punches when it comes to their graphic nature.
The film does unravel a little toward the end as the story muddles along and several plot lines become a bit unclear, and, worse, predictable.
It’s trying to be a film buff’s action movie, but only gets there on some levels.