Immortals presents something of a mixed bag to the viewer. On the one hand it could be viewed as an attempt to produce another crowd pleaser in the style of “300”, firmly financed with the multiplex crowd in mind. On the other it’s slow pace, bizarre visual style and lack of clarity could put a lot of viewers off. I sort of liked it, but admit that it wasn’t quite the film I expected.
The weak points first, the plot is slim – nay, anorexic – and the characterisation of anyone apart from the hero and principal villain is non-existent, especially women. The tone is also slightly too violent, I know that seems an odd thing to comment on (especially given recent excursions to “Drive” and “Kill List”), but at times it wandered uncomfortably into sadism, something that didn’t quite sit right with the tone of the rest of the film.
The less said about the various wandering accents the better.
However, the good more than make up for this. By no means is Immortals a top flight release, but it’s a solid B-Grade film that we occasionally get (The Crazies being the last decent example that springs to mind). Tarsem may have many weaknesses as a director, but he remains one of the most visually interesting ones currently working – he just needs to become as interested in people as he is in creating a visual theme. The red-brown-gold palette is beautiful, the stylistic CGI for once works (computers must have died during the making of this film) and it’s beautifully (if far more slowly than I expected) paced.
For once the 3D was actually of benefit (a quick check proves that it was partially filmed in 3D), enhancing the visual style rather than muddying it. It’s never going to win any awards, but it’s a solid evening of entertainment.