When it comes down to the facts, 300 was a visually great movie, based on a visually great graphic novel. That being said, it’s also one of the cheesiest dialogues in recent years. It’s not like you are looking for Oscar-caliber story or anything like that. It’s mindless entertainment. But it’s a fun movie. It’s a movie you can put in at any time when you want an easy movie to watch, and be entertained.
That film’s producers moved on to make the Immortals, a new movie based, very loosely on the Greek legend. Is it as good?
Now, the Theseus myth has always been one of the Greek myths I’ve enjoyed, so I thought there would be something in there that I would like. For those who aren’t in the know, Theseus voluntarily goes into the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur. Of course, according to what I remember, he was supposed to do it without weapons, and snuck in a sword anyway, and he used a spool of string to get back out of the Labyrinth. But hey, technicalities and here-say. That won’t stop Hollywood from making their own version of the classic myth.
In this one, Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, (The guy from the Tudors, and will eventually play Superman, no I’m not kidding), is a peasant boy in some who-knows town, trained to fight by some old man who is secretly Zeus, played by John Hurt. Later we are introduced to the bad dude that wants to awaken the Titans that fight the Gods, and he’s played by Mickey Rourke. He’s looking for an Oracle who knows where the weapon to open the box of baddies, played by the sexy girl from Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto. Oh and Steven Dorff is in the movie as well, in his usual typecast where you go, “Hey, I think I’ve seen that actor in another movie” roles. (Let me help you out there, he was Frost in Blade.)
Before we go on, there’s something I have noticed that needs to be mentioned. What’s with the hats? Seriously, when you watch this movie, look at the head wear on the priests, oracles, and the leaders. It’s like the Ministry of Silly Walks, only with hats. One dude has a candle on top. I mean, what the hell? I’m sure that isn’t official attire of Ancient Greece.
The movie version that I saw was in 3D, because there is no other option. Not being a fan of 3D to begin with, I have to admit, I hated this version as well. There was no reason whatsoever for this to be 3D. There’s only two shots where it was used. One was the stunt butt that’s supposed to be Pinto’s, in the gratuitously unnecessary sex scene. (And if it was Pinto, then it’s true that she really was sculpted by the Gods themselves), and the unnecessary up-skirt shot some dude’s tunic, making me flinch and temporarily blind. Guys, seriously? Not cool.
Rourke, who I am a big fan of, played an odd role to say the least. Why was he mumbling through the whole movie? All of his dialogue was quiet, like he’s supposed to be subtle, or he really needs a Halls. He played the bad guy well, there was no doubt he would, but seriously, Mickey, speak up. We can’t hear from the back.
There was a Minotaur in the movie, so at least that expectation was there. But sadly, it’s just a dude wearing a bull head made of barbed wire, and not an actual beast. It still looks cool, but really, I was expecting a mythical half-man-half-beast. Watching the scene where they fight, you get the feeling that they knew they needed a Theseus, a Minotaur and a Labyrinth, and decided to just shoehorn the fight in that setting.
The fighting scenes were great visually, and if that was anything less, then the whole movie would have been an absolute failure. The fight scenes are the bread and butter of the film, and it’s the reason it puts butts in seats. A lot of the action were cloning 300, and you can see it as pretty obvious, but it almost looks like they wanted to borrow some fight scenes from the God Of War games as well. I mean why not, it’s there. Also, did anyone see The One, with Jet Li? Yeah, they took some fight scenes from that and placed it in the Immortals.
Overall, it has the formula for a mindless movie down to the predictable science. Shirtless men beating the tar out of bad dudes in masks. Unnecessary naked female backs, weird costumes, historical inaccuracies and special effects up the wazoo. There’s nothing special that this movie offers, but at least it doesn’t bore you. It’s identical to 300 in that it’s a mindless movie that’s not meant to teach you Greek mythology or an actual history lesson. You want accuracy in story, go watch the History channel, is essentially the movie’s message.
The Immortals falls of a category of “If you liked X you’ll like Y”, because it’s uninspired to be original, but still enjoyable. The movie wears its influences on its sleeve, and feel sort of ripped off when that’s all you can stare at. But you should have seen it coming when you walked into the theatre anyway. Just enjoy it for what it is if you choose to go see it. Waiting for it to show up in Netflix isn’t a bad idea, but seeing it in theatres isn’t bad either. But not in 3D. I would go King Leonidas all over the guy that thought 3D was a good idea. Tonight he dines in hell.