Tarsem Singh's last film, the visually stunning, whimsical, deeply emotionally affecting THE FALL, is one of my favourite films of the past decade. In my mind's eye I can see vivid imagery - breathtakingly framed action sequences, wondrous costumes and locations - but I can also feel how heartbroken I was in a pivotal scene where a sweet little girl is bertrayed by the injured man she is trying to help. It's a movie that has so much heart - such a simple story, when all is said and done - that it compensates for the distancing effect of the highly-stylised visuals and the baroque story-telling style.
Tragically, IMMORTALS is a movie in which there is style, too much style, too many artfully staged, framed and HD-colour-timed visuals, and too little narrative or emotional clarity. The resulting film is dull (literally - not sure what was up with my iPad download but it was so dark in places I could barely see the action) and then simply unwatchable. In theory, the movie is about the Greek myth of Perseus, the Clash of the Titans, and the Minotaur. I studied these myths in school in depth. But even I didn't have a clue what was happening, or care why. The actors do the best they can, I suppose, but they're swamped by the visual effects and no-one comes out of it with any credit. I also suspect that Mickey Rourke, as Hyperion, was simply mis-cast.
Avoid at all costs.
IMMORTALS was released in November 2011. It is available to rent and own.