Rourke, playing the megalomaniacal King Hyperion, out to release the Titans, crush humanity and thwart the Greek Gods in one stroke, chose to play this knife-wielding nut as a guy of appetites. He’s always eating nuts, pomegranates, what have you — food stuck in his teeth, his beard. He needed something to chase down his main course, the scenery he chewed in this bronze-tinted epic with pretensions of being the new “300.”
The director of “The Fall,” one of the most gorgeous, real-locations/real colors fantasies of recent history, goes digital, goes 3D and goes seriously boring in this movie, which could introduce filmgoers to the next Superman — Henry Cavill.
Cavill plays Theseus, an illegitimate mortal favored by Zeus, who has counseled him in the guise of an old man (John Hurt, our narrator), but who is really Luke Evans, ruling Olympus from on high.
Hyperion’s designs on Earth — Greece, to be exact — tempt many of the gods to meddle in human affairs. But Theseus is the one the Virgin Oracle (Fredia Pinto) has seen in a vision — Theseus the hero, leader of men, wielding the magical Epirus bow that Hyperion seeks.
Theseus is noble, of cleft chin and seriously cut eight-pack. “I draw my sword to protect that that I love.” And that means Mom. So when Mom is killed, Theseus is out for revenge. The thief (Stephen Dorff) and the Virgin Oracle come along for the adventure.
Making time for a little nude body double booty call, of course.
It’s a Greece of endless cliffs, labyrinths, salt flats and mazes, too much of it looking like digitally generated backdrops for Theseus to purse the bow, fight his foe and rally humanity against the forces of darkness.
“Deeds are eternal, not the flesh,” he lectures. But Hyperion isn’t listening. He’s determined to wipe out other men and their seed, and to spread his own — the Mongol horde form of genocide — breeding, and preventing others from doing so.
The film manages one grand “300″ moment, Cavill rallying troops for battle, doing his best Gerard Butler. But the lack of humor, the confusing, stumbling story and limited color palette blunt the film’s 3D slo-mo shots of heads exploding and torsos torn asunder by the sword.
Pinto is nothing remotely as erotic as the Oracles of “300″ and Rourke could stand to miss a few snacks between meals, especially on screen. Cavill may make a good “Man of Steel,” and he cuts a fine figure in action here. But it’s the inaction that renders “Immortals” all too mortal, a film that dies long before its time.
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong bloody violence, and a scene of sexuality
Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff