Tuesday, 29 November 2011

160, Immortals

Movies like this one normally (& sadly) get slated.  Clash of the Titans got panned, Percy Jackson was never going to win any oscars (after saying that, apologies if it did!) and I think thats a shame.

As soon as "God's" get involved Hollywood feel that they need to throw huge budgets at them and build them up so much and eventually, what gets released are good movies but never really live up to the hype surrounding them.  I rememeber as a kid watchng Jason and then Argonauts and Clash of the Titans from '63 & '81 and loving their dated cheapness.  It was what made them stand out for me. 

It was visionary for its time and now with the level of special effects we have available I think the expectation is just too great, even with 3D now on its 3rd lap of honour I feel that no movie surrounding any level of introduction from Thor, Zeus, Psoiden etc will ever get any real credit.  That said,  I thought Immortals was worthy of quite a written accolade and here's why.

It covers a time relatively early on when the "Immortals" as they were known at the time discovered that they could actually kill each other.  A great War fell upon them and the winners declared themselves Gods (Zeus, Thor etc) and the losers were branded Titan's and sent to the underworld.  This is where most movies pick up from that focus on these events so it was a welcome break to get some of the back story.

some years pass (1200 BC) and one King, (Hyperion), played brilliantly by Mickey Rourke sets about to hunt down an ancient bow, able to open the titans cage and with them, rule the known world.  The Gods, forever watching are unable to assist the Humas as they get slaughtered village by village by Hyperion and his hoardes as it would invalidate a treaty set in history where Gods can only interviene if the Titans do and with them being in a current state of incapacity, have to sit idly by and hope Humans can stand together to defeat Hyperion.

Plot sorted.  So now onto the good bit.  Its a cert 15 and there is no denying this is a gory one.  The fight scebnes are epic and the if you saw Spartacus on Sky 1 recently then this will take you straight back to the blood spilling and vengeance that show displayed on a regular basis, without the nudity (sadly).

Made by the same team behind 300, this has all the traits of a good old blood fest as was with Gerard Butlers pre-mentioned adventure but be warned, it did take about 30 minutes to really get going. 

There are a few recognisable faces in some of the smaller roles.  Keep an eye out for Twilight's Emmet as one of the Gods and a gracefully aging John Hurt as the village mentor which also carries a nice little twist.  Other than that, Stephen Dorff makes a welcome return in his most noticable role since Public enemies in 2009 (although he has had 5 releases this year and 4 in the diary for 2012) and with the beautiful Freida Pinto (Planet of the Apes / Slumdog Millionare) as our leading lady the cast is all but complete.

There is blood, there is death.  There are great fight scenes deserved of a movie where gods are credited and its as brutal and brilliantly shot as any other movie you will see this year.  As for the 3D, well you can take it or leave it - nothing really jumped out for me so save your cash although its hard to find a 2D version circulating at the moment.

I loved it, but if I had one criticism it would be that it just took a little too long to ge going and for a movie that lasts 110 minutes it could have been easily done and dusted in 90.

To end on a high though, rourke is amazing.  His pure evilness shines through and although you hate the character by the end of it you have to admire the man behind him - again, Rourke proving that all it takes is a 2nd chance - well played Mickey.