Cinema Review: Immortals

DIR: Tarsem Singh • WRI : Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides • PRO: Mark Canton, Ryan Kavanaugh , Gianni Nunnari • DOP: Brendan Galvin • ED: Wyatt Jones, Stuart Levy • DES: Tom Foden • CAST: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt

Pretty Violent…

Not only is this an expression that succinctly describes Tarsem Singh’s third directorial feature, they are the twin graces which save Immortals from the halls of mediocrity. That’s not to say Henry Cavill’s performance as Theseus is poor, or the writing penned by new scribes Vlas and Charley Parlapanides is feeble. Immortals simply falls victim to the same curse afflicting so many of these mythological epics, in that it’s often painfully derivative.

It’s the discourse, rather than the bog standard fetch quest plotting that offends most. Everyone, even Mickey Rourke’s generic-if-refreshingly-nuts Hyperion struggles with awkward lines. Still, while Cavill’s perma-scowl bodes well for 2013’s Man of Steel, supporting characters Luke Evans, Frieda Pinto and Steven Dorff (remember him?) are more than capable of holding audience attention. Again, the narrative and dialogue are bearable. It’s just a titanic shame a hero as invigoratingly bloodthirsty as Theseus lacked the wit, or task, befitting his exceptionally aggressive psyche.

This imaginative drought contrasts quite spectacularly with the films audio, and to a much, MUCH greater degree, its visual aesthetic. Tarsem is known for his unique visual flair. And though Immortals is decidedly mainstream, compared to former efforts The Cell and The Fall, almost every shot wrestles attention from the senses. Be it a rising tidal wave, or a shattered mountain, a salty desert, thunderstruck skyline or exploding head, Immortals should wake us up to the fact Zach Snyder isn’t the only one with an eye for breathtaking vistas.

Nor is he the only one who appreciates the importance of proper action. Lamentably, Immortals is not as action-packed as its marketing material suggests and could stand to gain another well-choreographed divine clash. However, for the majority of sequences, the action is meticulously designed, inventive, sports an otherworldly flair and is appropriately, inventively brutal. And unlike too many would be action films, Immortals peaks at the finale. Once the Gods finally descend, clad in gold armour, their weapons swung with time-bending speed, your eyes will gorge themselves on 2011’s most visually magnificent action scene! Though the BBFC cut our theatrical version, there’s ample decapitation, impalement, dismemberment and miscellaneous bone crunching to see even the most demanding action fan gratified.

As a whole, Immortals finds an agreeable middle ground between not being the pinnacle of the Legendary Epic genre it might have been, and having the courtesy to utterly smash our admittedly reserved expectations.Though iconic visuals and savage brawling will leave most with severe mouth foam, Immortals cannot quite match the style and swagger 300 deftly managed back in 2006. But lay your minds at ease, as mythic yarns go, Tarsem’s Immortals tramples 2010’s Clash of the Titans into the mud.

Jack McGlynn

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Immortals is released on 11th November 2011

Immortals– Official Website


The Fall

The Fall
The Fall

DIR: Tarsem Singh • WRI: Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis, Tarsem Singh • PRO: Tarsem Singh, Nico Soultanakis, Lionel Kopp • DOP: Colin Watkinson • ED: Robert Duffy • DES: Ged Clarke • CAST: Catinca Untaru, Lee Pace, Justine Waddell, Kim Uylenbroek

Director Tarsem Singh, the talent behind the film The Cell, has brought us the best film of 2008. The Fall is an amazing film with a genre mix of adventure, fantasy and drama. Very touching and heart-warming, this work of art will keep you hooked.

During the opening credits you will be wondering what it is about but it won’t be until near the end that it will become clear.

A five-year-old girl, Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) and a movie stuntman, Roy Walker (Lee Pace) form a beautiful friendship after meeting in a hospital in 1920’s Los Angeles. Their bond grows deeper through to the end of the film. Nurse Evelyn (Justine Waddell) acts like a mother-figure to Alexandria while she is in hospital.

Roy and Alexandria first form that friendship on finding out that they both received their injuries from falling. Alexandria has a broken arm and Roy’s legs are broken after a stunt.

Roy begins to tell the young girl a story about six mythical heroes who strike up a friendship and set on a journey to kill their mutual enemy, Governor Odious. Odious has done something to each hero to give each of them a specific reason to hate him. The young girl comes back every day to listen to more parts of the story, but you begin to realise that Roy is being nice to Alexandria and telling her these stories for a particular reason. He wants something in return for the continuous story telling, something that only Alexandria can help him with.

There are very impressive performances by the two main leads, especially the young girl Catinca Untaru, whose talent should be acknowledged.

The setting of the film could have been better. As it was set in the 1920s there could have been more of an old-style feel to the film. The adventure scenes lacked action and special affects that would of fitted into the film perfectly. It’s an adventure but don’t think that means that it’s full of action-packed scenes. There are a few fight scenes but mainly it’s just a love story. However, it really doesn’t need any special affects and is fine the way it is.

What was good about the film was that it switched from different times. One minute it is set in the old style 1920s hospital and then it switched to an adventurous ancient Rome style scene, which made the movie more interesting.

The film is for both children and adults as children would enjoy the story of the heroes and adults would easily become hooked on the plot of Roy’s epic, the love story.

Overall, it is a film well worth seeing and deserves a high rating. For those who love action and special effects it wouldn’t be for you but the adventurous type and the love story type would find it amazing.