Monday, November 14, 2011

BEAUTY AND THE BLOODLUST


Full of breathtaking vistas and stunning beefcake, Immortals succeeds where its genre competitors failed - in truly captivating the audience. Henry Cavil's physique is appropriately mythological, but it's the combination of idyllic perfection and the ravages of war that makes director Tarsem Singh's film memorable.



I didn't follow the production of Immortals very closely, but it was always a given that I'd be there opening weekend. Perfectly-ripped men, a heavy dose of Greek mythology and a primary goal of defeating Mickey Rourke? Yeah, I guess I'm interested.



I won't spend the entire review from this shallow a standpoint, but director Tarsem Singh's latest release EXCEEDED my expectations! Henry Cavill is quite possibly the hottest man on the face on the planet right now, and his every scene oozes with charm, testosterone and SEX. If I ever own my own bar, you'd better believe Immortals is going to be playing on a TV screen a lot of the time.



For those of you that tire at looking at Mr. Cavill (I can't imagine who you are, but whatever) he had some help from your friend and mine...Stephen Dorff! Before you begin to worry whether The Dorff is capable of playing Ancient Greek, it becomes pretty clear that he's playing a Stephen Dorff-like thief. Only hotter.



Frieda Pinto (who recently received a paycheck in Rise of the Planet of the Apes) plays the virgin oracle, Phaedra. I may not understand much of my people's language, but I'm pretty sure her name roughly translates to "The One Without a Penis". Like basically every good guy in Immortals, she's flawless. 



The story is simple, because it's ultimately secondary to the incredible visuals. King Hyperion (Rourke) seeks to obtain the Bow of Epirus - forged by Ares - that will allow him to free the Titans and destroy the Gods. Perfectly-chiseled peasant Theseus (Cavill) witnesses his village destroyed and his mother killed by Hyperion's forces, and vows to hunt down the King of Crete for justice. Oracle Phaedra (Pinto) sees through her visions that Theseus is special, and joins him on his journey with Stavros (Dorff), a wise-cracking thief.



And what of the gods? Well, they've long since agreed not to get involved in the affairs of mortals, despite it probably being the right thing to do most of the time. Zeus (noted homosexual Luke Evans) issues a stern reminder of this to his brother and children, all the while barely clothed and looking like a much hotter version of James McAvoy. 



Speaking of Zeus' brother Poseidon - bring on The Lutz! Kellan Lutz and his abs deliver a fairly understated performance, but that didn't stop the entire section of the theater I was in to bust out laughing when he showed up for the first time. Athena is also represented on Mount Olympus, by none other than the gal who played "Slutty-Girl-That's-Actually-a-Killer-Robot" in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. She's much better as a God, let me tell you.



There's a distinction about the gods in Immortals, and it's one of the things that separates it from the dreadful Clash of the Titans remake: They're used sparingly. They play an important role to the story, but it really is Theseus' story. This ends up working out perfectly, because each time they do show up...you know shit's about to get real. Also, kudos for putting Athena right up there on the front lines, as well as making the gods young and beautiful. Seriously - if you were a god, why would you want to look like you were in your 70s?


Print Me For Valentine's Day, Y'all!


I'll admit that the brutality was shocking for such a sexy, epic romp (that metal bull in particular) but with nearly all of the bloodshed done with artsy-looking CGI, it came across as less horrifying.



Immortals is a film that's as exciting as it is gratuitous, and as beautiful as it is violent. It managed to thrill me in ways that 300 and the aforementioned Clash of the Titans could only have dreamed to. I felt very little wonder and and remembered next to nothing by the time those movies had ended (a shame considering my anticipation for them), but the exact opposite can be said for Tarsem Singh's latest. 
Come for the hotness, stay for the exciting, stylized action!


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