Life is what you make it. I recently moved from a quiet town in the country to chase my big city dreams. Nothing ever goes smoothly, nothing is ever what it seems, but everyday I am getting closer. I am yet another slightly less-than-average girl trying to find her way in London, and in life.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Immortals: "I will end the reign of the Gods."

“During times of peace, the sons bury their fathers, but in war it is the fathers who send their sons to the grave. Are we at war, Father?”

Being an unashamed fan of mythic heroes and Greek epics, I was really keen to see Immortals. Since a young age I have had a fascination with Ancient Greece and their Gods, and have subsequently blissfully indulged myself in Hollywood’s (extremely inaccurate) versions of the lore. I fell in love with them over and over again with films like Spartacus, Troy and 300 - which happens to be one of my ultimate guilty pleasures and the only film I can stand Gerard Butler in. So when I heard of Immortals and the fact that Henry Cavill would be putting on the gladiator sandals and warrior armour for the lead role, I was immediately desperate to see it.

Immortals tells the story of the young, shockingly healthy and well-fed, peasant Theseus (played by Henry Cavill) who, after the death of his mother, swears revenge on the King. Theseus has been trained by the God Zeus in his human form, for what we assume to be most of his life given their apparently close relationship. Despite this, he only ever addresses the disguised Zeus as ‘old man’ and doesn’t seem to have thought to ask for his name. Weird.

Moving on, Zeus chose Theseus to fight the good fight against nasty King Hyperion (the sadly decreasingly fabulous Mickey Rourke) who plans to pretty much kill everything whilst showing off his saggy man boobs and attempting to breathe (and largely failing, so it would sound). Whilst waiting for the big fight of good and evil, we get a really annoying and completely unbelievable relationship between Theseus and that lady out of Slumdog who plays a one-dimensional, totally pointless oracle. It’s the one thing I hate about these films, why do they feel the need to stick some fake, unnecessary romance in there? It doesn’t need to be there, adds nothing to the plot and states that the only function women ever have is to please a man and give him a good going over in case he dies in the next scene. It really grinds me!

If, like I did, you choose to ignore this as much as you can then the first half of the film is bearable, but nothing special. The second half however is where I really started to enjoy myself.

No there was nothing really new, there were the usual over the top special effects and guaranteed baddie ass-kicking, but I guess that’s just what I like. I enjoyed the more personal fight between Theseus and Hyperion. It felt like it was a necessary way to show the apparent rage of the characters that’s suggested but never shown before this. Instead of having a dignified little bashing of swords, they got down and dirty and had a good old gory scrap. And it was nice. At the same time we are shown the fight between the Gods and the Titans, who have been released from their prison by naughty Hyperion, and this scene for me was a lot of fun. The drama and effects felt powerful and intense, although blatantly just a visual show-off, it was really good to watch it all unfold.

I’m going to allow myself a little aesthetic indulgence and squee like a fangirl (a la the ridiculous teenage obsession with Robert Pattinson) and express my severe drool-age for Henry Cavill. One of the only reasons I stuck with The Tudors for as long as I did, Cavill is one of my ultimate favourites. And not simply because he is obviously drop dead gorgeous, but because he does have at least a nugget of acting talent. Despite the initial pull of Cavill selling Immortals to me, I did commit the ultimate sin half way through and found myself desperate for a new man to take up the screen.

Make way for Luke Evans, the man who completely stole the show.

No matter how many times Cavill’s presented as our protagonist or how high up in the credits his name may be, Evans was the star. And I'm not just saying that for entirely for shallow reasons (though admittedly, yuuuummy - just look at him!) but he was really, really good. Playing Zeus the leader of the Ancient Gods, the charisma, power and presence that Evans' bought to the table was absolutely perfect. Being a complete unknown to me (some others I’ve spoken to have recognised him from Tamara Drewe or Clash of the Titans but he hasn't been in much yet) I was pleasantly surprised how good he was for a relatively new and still largely unknown actor. His story as Zeus seemed much more 3-dimensional, rounded and believable and I had more sympathy and connection with him than I ever did with Theseus. It's not that Theseus' story or Cavill's acting was bad as such, it was just nowhere near as enrapturing as Zeus and Evans. So, I’m sorry Henry Cavill, but I am a huge Luke Evans convert now.

It’s safe to say that I was less interested in the lead storyline about Theseus and Hyperion, and much more interested in the battle of the Gods. If they have changed it round or left out the whole mortal bit entirely, then it would have been my perfect film.

Recommend to a friend? Despite the huge inaccuracies and errors, I couldn’t help but like it. It adds nothing new or ground-breaking and drags on too long, but ultimately an enjoyable film if you don’t expect to be surprised.

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