On a beautiful Friday night, after a lovely week of flowers in the park, blossoming trees, and sunshine all around, I felt the sudden urge for a violent manly film. When I mean a manly film I mean I want to see sex, violence and plenty of action. No need to have a strong storyline or depth—just think of what the most macho, stereotypical, man you know would want to watch and that’s what I was in the mood for. As I rifled through my TV’s On-Demand selection I came across Immortals, the 2011 action film that people had likened to the badass film 300, when it first came out. The description read as follows: “In a world where gods and mortals battle for supremacy over the earth, a warrior, Theseus [played by sexy Tutors Henry Cavill], embarks on a quest to defeat the forces of evil which threaten the fate of all mankind”. This seemed to be JUST what I was looking for!
Well….it wasn’t. I’m sorry to break it to all involved with that film but unlike 300, this flick was not only not the stereotypical manly movie I thought I was getting involved with but wasn’t in fact even a good film worth watching regardless of your mood! Unless, that is, you’re in the mood for a film that leaves you unsatisfied. Perhaps the director Tarsem Singh felt Cavill’s ridiculously sexy body would detract from the fact that this film was jerky in transitions, didn’t develop characters enough to make viewers care about their plights, and created a hero that got his ass kicked throughout the film and couldn’t accomplish any mission he undertook without incurring significant damage to himself.
During moments when I wasn’t confused about why the plot was moving in strange ways and being repetitive, I was struck by villainous King Hyperion’s [Mickey Rourke] intense obsession with men’s ability to “plant their seed”. He constantly was asking his victims what it was like to know their lines would end with them and was castrating men left and right. His goal was to create a world in which he would be “remembered in every face”, implying he was independently going to repopulate the world. While everyone else was talking about the war, the doom that would occur if the dreaded Titans (fallen gods) were released from imprisonment, or how it’s immoral for certain classes of citizens to be treated as less than human, King Hyperion was running around incessantly talking one’s line being carried on. What…is this about?! The best part about it is that no one around him entertained his monologues about this. They just move on, as did the plot without ever trying to demonstrate why his obsession was relevant in a way worth caring about.
Now….I could have dealt with King Hyperion’s strangeness, Theseus’ weak-sauce character, and even the lack of legit sex in the film, if this action film hadn’t made me wait until the last 30 minutes of its 1 hour and 50 minute length to actually see action worth watching. It’s not until the gods intervene after Theseus fails to stop Hyperion from releasing the Titans that we’re actually treated to the type of violent action 300 gave us throughout. Although the action was great and the amount of blood was indeed not lacking, this film waited way too long to get there. By the time I reached this point of the film I was over it and wanted the $4.99 I paid to rent it, back.
So next time you’re in the mood for a hardcore manly action flick—stick with the tried and true 300. Don’t mess with its underperforming, anticlimactic, seed-planting obsessed third cousin.