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[personal profile] jencat
Actually, sod it, I sat through Immortals mostly going "ooooohhh, pretty."  I was entertained.  At no point did I start nodding off (which has been happening recently in anything remotely boring, thank you Tintin and, bizarrely, Troll Hunter).

I will say, expectations were pretty damn low.  This was averaging, oooh, one star in a lot of the reviews I'd read.  But it was Tarsem. Doing something approaching a 300 redux.  And it was absolutely batshit crazy cracked up fun, but it still managed to be approximately 70% less silly than *shudder* Clash of the Titans.

This is because: 
1. Tarsem.  Who probably can't direct his way out of paper bag story-wise, but my god the man has an eye for... well, anything baroque or ridiculously gorgeous (the random oil soaking! Bonkers genius!).  The screen practically glowed dammit.  Visually it was utterly stunning; the 3D worked subtly and nicely even on the tiny west end Odeon screen and I will happily watch it again at some point just to see all the heads exploding in slo-mo.  Hell, all the everything exploding in slo-mo.  There was rather a lot of that.

2. Henry Cavill.  Yeah, I will believe the dude can be Superman.  Hell, I'd believe he can do just about anything, because he carried this entire freaking film single-handedly despite atrocious dialogue and minimal help from the script, and he was just lovely.  f 
He played it with complete conviction (something that only the production design warranted really) and as a result you did actually care what happened to him.  Character development was practically non-existent, but he was about the only thing you could hang the film on.  And he worked. (I'm also remembering his and Gabby Anwar's characters were also the reason I got caught up in the first season of The Tudors at all really).

Story-wise it made very little sense; as an interpretation of the Theseus myth, it made even less.. let's just accept that the name is nothing more than a jumping off point for pretty, pretty things.  The visuals were so rich that there was a whole other layer of stuff going on; worldbuilding and concepts suggested purely by how things looked rather than pesky dialogue or plotting (which is a Tarsem speciality).  The Sybils, and their costumes *swoon* - and it didn't completely sideline the female characters the way Clash did.  Admittedly poor Phaedre didn't get much to do, but Frieda Pinto has a screen presence that allows her to fare far better than Gemma Arterton did.  And hey, the sex scene as a literal sacrifice .  There were a dozen ways you could have written that scene better, but it was still an interesting concept...

And I'm still trying to work out how he got away with dressing the gods up like that, and making it actually kinda work.  My brain is still disturbed that I didn't dissolve into hysterical laughter every time those absurd head-dresses appeared on screen... Oh dear.


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Jennifer Howell

July 2015

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