'Immortals' tries to give a worn genre new life [Video]
The success of “300” four years ago could have ushered in a new era of artistry for swords-and-sandals tales, or simply a new era of knockoffs. Judging by what’s come since, it’s getting harder to argue the former.
“Immortals,” which shares producers with “300” and follows a trio of films similarly themed with honor and epic battle (“Clash of the Titans,” “Prince of Persia” and “The Eagle”), begins its pre-release campaign with a new teaser trailer released Wednesday.
Tarsem Singh (“The Fall”) brings a sense of style to the material, which this time around takes on the battle of Thesus (Henry Cavill) against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke, trying out a new villainous accent). But amid the flaming arrows and leaping swordsmen is a generic story of honor and gods and battles, and a somberness that can border on the comic. The earnest disrobing from the likes of Freida Pinto doesn't help, nor do the "Eyes Wide Shut" masks, or the boilerplate dialogue. (“Today we are offered something we would never have. Today we fight for honor.”)
When it was first developed three years ago the action movie, now scheduled for November, looked like it would compete in the marketplace with “Clash of the Titans.” In fact, Warner Bros. contemplated buying the script on which it’s based for use in developing “Titans," so closely related were the pair. “Immortals” is now sandwiched between that movie and its sequel next March, which may or may not give it enough breathing room.
Sandal-philia aside, the interesting question is how “Immortals” will affect Cavill’s stock -– the film will be closely watched by Superman lovers to see what kind of hero chops Cavill demonstrates.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Mickey Rourke in "Immortals." Credit: Relativity Media