OSMAN RIAZ reckons you should see Immortals for the visuals but don’t stay for the plot.

300 3D Action Films freida pinto Greek mythology henry cavill immortal Mickey Rourke worst film

Directed by Tarsem Singh

[rating: 2.5/5]

Make-up tends to reveal more than it conceals. That’s its irony, and the same goes for Immortals

The make-up of this movie is its visual, scrumptious deliciousness. Not a single scene is spared digital coaxing. The only thing left honestly genuine are Henry Cavill’s absImmortals is unashamedly dedicated to sublime artifice, forgetting perhaps that artifice never wholly guarantees satisfaction. Wait, something’s not there, under its pants. Oh, yeah – a comprehensible narrative.

The story’s premise, however, has ‘movie’ written all over it. Theseus (Cavill) embarks on a campaign of revenge against the man who murdered his mother, the coolly callous or callously cool Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must prevent Hyperion from fulfilling his search for the Epirus Bow, a badass weapon with the devastating ability to unleash the Titans, and to fire a lethal shot at the very heart of humankind.

Nothing but rock hard abs, artistic orgasms, and slow-mo fight scenes. What else?

But the narrative betrays the crispness promised by the story, plodding along, helplessly, with eager fingertips anticipating the next salvaging fight sequence.

Reduced to a simple sword-and-sandal spectacle, gone are the subtle complexities of Greek mythology, as the movie instead favours heavy action sequences and cliches. There are war-cries (“Fight…for…immortality!”), women artistically orgasming, chiselled bodies, wise-old men (John Hurt), and action that’s susceptible to being momentarily slowed-down, you know, for original effect.

Formulaic to the point of boring, this movie inspires moments of utter despair, as even cliché becomes a clichéd word to describe it. For Zeus’s sake! Jesus Christ. I mean, Theseus.

Rourke hisses and snarls and gnarls his way to the movie’s strongest performance, as confirmed by his threats for physical and sexual mutilation paling in comparison to his sadistic, grotesque treatment of fruit – getting it stuck in his beard and all! If only Rourke would have put the fruit aside for the irritable Freida Pinto, playing the (briefly) virgin Oracle.

Cavill’s supreme good-guy – yet another crass simplification – is still tolerable, if only that his role requires he be nothing more. We’re only here for the main acts, the rest of the ensemble slide into oblivion and we don’t care.

How long can I go without mentioning 300? Oh, never mind. Like the Spartan epic, Immortals strives to cover its deficits through visual style, including wonderfully extravagant costume and set design. Truly, it’s a visual treat of which my sweet tooth never tired, serving image-upon-image of Caravaggio-like colourful vibrancy against solid backgrounds.

I knew Immortals was an entertaining experience when I forgot the eye-ache of the unrealised 3D in favour of immersing myself in the sensual orgy of colours and images. Trust me, leave your mind at home, you won’t need it.

As we know it, to be immortal is to be remembered. For all its talk of immortality, it’s ironic, that Immortals does not achieve it.