CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
Film Review: ‘Immortals’ is Model of a Modern Major Epic
CHICAGO – The sword and sandals epic has been around since the costume department fashioned the first toga. A modern take on this tried-and-true story line is “Immortals,” using the latest computer generated imagery to create the gods of Mount Olympus, the mortals of ancient Greece and their severed heads in 3D.
Despite the laughable and stiff dialogue, “Immortals” succeeds through casting and action, all of which spins a nice eye candy to the seen-it-before parts of the typical breastplate genre. Director Tarsem Singh (”The Cell”) has a keen perspective on what makes this type of film work, and uses the latest tools in the database to render the fantastical time and place. The cast is sincere and gives the surface silliness some gravitas, with the exception of the scenery-chewing Mickey Rourke.
Theseus (Henry Cavill) is a well trained soldier in his small Greek village. A fatherless child, he has been mentored through his life by an old man (John Hurt), who has taught him the right moves for both war and sword-to-sword combat. It turns out the old man is Zeus, the main god of Mount Olympus. He is training Theseus to protect the earth, after the gods had defeated and imprisoned the immortal Titans years before.
Then there is King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), a power mad ruler who is amassing a giant army to overrun the land. He searches for Phaedra (Frieda Pinto), an oracle who can tell him the location of the Epirus Bow and Arrow, which has the power to release the Titans. Theseus gets involved when Hyperion kills his mother, and hooks up with Phaedra when both are enslaved at a monastery that Hyperion captures. With help from fellow soldier Stavos (Stephen Dorff), the god Zeus (Luke Evans) and Phaedra, Theseus is ready to be a hero.
Photo credit: Relativity Media