It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Immortals" is without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see. Eiko Ishioka's costume designs alone deserve an Oscar nomination. "They weren't at all historically accurate," grumbled a woman in the elevator after the sneak preview, as if lots of documentation exists about the wardrobes of the gods. She added: "I guess that's what we deserve for using free tickets we got at a Blackhawks game."
One image after another is gob-smacking, including the early one in which a prison cell of thick granite, buried inside a mountain, holds the imprisoned Titans. We see them from above, chained standing upright, their teeth clamped onto iron rods. They've been this way for "eons." Other images include Greek villages carved from the sides of precipitous cliffs, spectacular temples and thrones, and a startling shot of the Oracles dressed in towering red costumes against a slate background. You look at these visuals and drink them in.
Alas, the movie makes next to no sense. It involves, in a very broad sense, the attempt by King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) to conquer Greece, and the battle to stop him led by a plucky peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill). 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.
The movie is sometimes completely CGI, and there must not be many scenes with no computer work at all. That allows for lots and lots of towering cliffs. In fact, all of Greece seems to be on the edge of a drop of hundreds or thousands of feet, although sometimes in the far distance we see flatlands, which are no doubt where the peasants live. No one on the cliffs but Gods, heroes, Oracles, warriors and suchlike. These characters all seem compelled to live as close to the edge as possible, where they run nimbly, survey the horizon, push each other, and never look down to check their footing. You know how nervous that makes me get. One legendary character does dive into the sea, turning into a kind of missile and impacting like a bomb, creating a giant tsunami. You'd think the waves would wipe out civilization, but the payoff seems mostly when everybody finds themselves covered with mud.