Visionary director Tarsem Singh improves the image of Ancient Greek mythology, which was ruined by horrible Clash of the Titans.
Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto
Budget: 75 million | Box office: 273 million
I was a bit nervous when waiting for this movie, because it has set or been already following an unpleasant precedent. All the marketing campaign of Immortals was geared towards the movie producers, who earlier supervised Spartan slow motion killing festival 300 (but not mentioning the names of Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari, as if producer was a mystical entity). And not even a tiniest mention of the director Tarsem Singh. I can understand that his earlier beautiful movie The Fall has been too niche for wider audiences and it only grossed 4 million USD. But Tarsem created The Cell! One of the most visually astonishing movies ever. Yes, it was 11 years ago, but that shouldn’t be important. I mean Immortals is not geared towards kids audience so I really don’t understand such marketing decision.
Anyway, at least the fears of too much 300 influence were not confirmed. Immortals is quite genuinely a Tarsem picture with his usual vast scenes and interesting architecture, although a bit confined in some places. Costumes and again his special element – masks – are also impressive. I would argue about the image of the gods as Photoshopped muscular models with crazy plastic golden hats, but at least it’s more interesting than the typical inanimate gods in Clash of the Titans. Poor famous actors, sacrificing their respectable image for the cheque.
Immortals cast looks decent too. I always love when the lead role goes to a new suitable face and Henry Cavill, with already some decent roles like in Stardust, was really a good choice. It will for sure generate some positive buzz for his upcoming Superman role in another of this series reboots. Mickey Rourke plays the same role as in the last few movies, but here he fits too. And Freida Pinto from the Slumdog Millionaire fame is as beautiful as ever.
There is no much point to tell the story, although I guess after watching this some people would be interested to read a bit further and remember the classes about Ancient Greek mythology. At least to figure out which god slept with who and who was all the illegitimate demigods children and so on. From this perspective Immortals does a good job too, much better than the attempt to intrigue kids with this topic in Percy Jackson.
Although I really liked Immortals, there are some minor issues worth to mention. First despite a quite substantial budget some parts look really fake. I wonder if it was a goal of the movie, to kind of create a theater stage style. I don’t think they could overlook such stuff like rubbery armor. And the infamous 300 slow motion fights show up eventually, although obviously not the producers, but the director Zack Snyder was more keen on this style (even the animated owls fight in slow-motion…). Nevertheless, some of the major fights were over-stylized, expecting to amaze audiences, but if you saw such movies as The One with Jet Li or some other bigger budget films with fight scenes, there’s nothing new here.
Talking about audience amazement, almost forgot about 3D. I watched Immortals in digital 2D and I don’t think there is much reason to choose 3D version, because most of the movie was not filmed with 3D camera setups, but converted, which is never an impressive thing. Some parts, as reported, were filmed using two digital cameras (but again not special equipment as in Avatar or other filmed 3D movies) and watching you can see some scenes which would probably look cool in 3D. But go for digital version if there is an opportunity – the shots are very crisp and nice.
As for director-producers question, i hope that was Tarsem’s decision too, to kind of distance himself and just make money for some new personal grand film. Guessing from his next movie Mirror, Mirror, it seems he needs quite a big fund. If of course he has some future plans, which I really hope for.