'Immortals': What the Critics are Saying
The reviews are in for Tarsem Singh’s Immortals, as it hits theaters across the U.S. on Friday, Nov. 11.
PHOTOS: 'Immortals' Premiere Red Carpet Arrivals
Henry Cavill stars as Theseus, a peasant tasked with defending the world from the evil King Hyperion, in Relativity’s Greek God epic. The visually stunning 3D project also includes Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff and Freida Pinto, who -- as The Hollywood Reporter’s film critic Todd McCarthy writes -- is “just about the only one in the cast not required to shout or roar most of her lines.”
The film, from the producers behind 300, earns a 38 percent rating on RottenTomatoes. While Hollywood’s top critics are unimpressed overall in their reviews, the film is not without its merits. Immortals will face off opening weekend with new releases Jack and Jill and J. Edgar, as well as DreamWorks' Puss in Boots, which has been dominating the box office since its Oct. 28 opening.
“Thuddingly ponderous, heavy-handed and lacking a single moment that evinces any relish for movie-making, this lurch back from the “history” of 300 into the mists of Greek myth is a drag in nearly every way, from the particulars of physical torture to the pounding score that won't quit. As if poor, beleaguered Greece needs this right now, a bad film about its unruly gods and founders… To his credit, director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (billed on previous films as just Tarsem or Tarsem Singh—his name grows with his pretentions) does create a visual world here that represents a heightened reality; the dramatic landscapes, enormous vistas, brilliant skies, dramatic architecture and wild costumes overlap with but are not constrained by the real world or historical locations.” – THR’s Todd McCarthy
“The movie is a feast for guys only: a Grand Theft Mytho video game in 3-D, apotheosizing the exploits of men who are their own gods, weapons and sex objects. Not since 300 have so many well-sculpted men run around topless; watching Immortals is like walking into the shower room at the Greenwich Village Equinox. Cavill, who was a finalist to play James Bond (Daniel Craig got the job), Batman (Christian Bale), Twilight‘s Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Superman (Brandon Routh), and will finally play the reporter from Krypton in Snyder’s Man of Steel, flexes his biceps more vigorously than his acting instrument.” – TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss
“Tarsem Singh's first two films, The Cell and The Fall, were shallow but exquisite displays designed almost entirely to show off his extraordinary artistry. With Immortals, Singh finally acknowledges that he’s making movies, rather than just beautiful moving pictures. In his ostentatiously unconventional take on ancient Greek history, he gives us fully fleshed characters and a compelling (enough) plot, plus all the action an epic requires. And, true to form, it’s also the most gorgeous film of the year.” – NY Daily News’ Elizabeth Weitzman
“The Immortals is without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see. Eiko Ishioka's costume designs alone deserve an Oscar nomination… Alas, the movie makes next to no sense. It involves, in a very broad sense, the attempt by King Hyperion to conquer Greece, and the battle to stop him led by a plucky peasant named Theseus. Much depends on the possession of the hidden Epirus Bow, which can fire arrows that materialize from thin air and guide themselves to a target. This sounds great, but when you're shooting arrows at tens of thousands of enemies, your fingers could get bloody pulling that bow string.” – Chicago Sun Times’ Roger Ebert
“The filmmaker has taken special care to choreograph pain in fierce fashion — ordinary 3-D bloodletting and sword fighting is really not enough. All the unimaginable ways to inflict a world of hurt are imagined here in frightful images that seem to rise right off the screen. What's missing is the emotion that might have lifted the film and us as well.” – Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey
“A few actors rise above the stilted narrative, particularly Stephen Dorff, whose randy rebel Stavros provides the movie its emotion and humor. Instead, what undercuts sharper than Poseidon's trident is a script that sees its characters as cardboard, not flesh and blood. For a film meant to be spectacle over substance, it's not a fatal blow. But it is a mortal wound.” USA Today’s Scott Bowles