There are three things I wanted from Immortals, a film for which I held very limited expectations:
1.) I wanted to see Henry Cavill show me what he’s capable of in an action capacity leading into next year’s Superman film, in which he will play the title character;
2.) I wanted a fun, entertaining film that I could watch while working and enjoy myself;
3.) I wanted some outstanding visuals to counter balance the inevitable plot holes and weak dialogue I expected from a film of this ilk.
I’m less willing to extend to director Tarsem Singh the courtesy than I’ve given Cavill. Michael Bay has built a ridiculously luxurious career out of creating shallow-but-pretty blockbusters that bring nothing to the table except stylish effects and somewhat enjoyable. It’s easy to rail against Bay and his contemporaries but at least he has the decency to make his movies entertaining, even if it is low-level entertainment. Immortals can’t even do that. It is neither fun nor entertaining, engrossing nor in any way, shape, or form enjoyable. The visuals, marketed, quite frankly, as the film’s greatest strength, are mostly unappealing and sometimes downright shabby. Perhaps it would have made a difference to see the print in a theater but many of the film’s bigger action sequences were almost unwatchable due to a horrendous color balance mixed with mediocre-at-best effects. I don’t expect every film to have awards-caliber post-production elements but let’s be honest here: the only reason anyone went to see Immortals was because of the action. If the action sucks in an overtly action-oriented movie, then what are we left with? In this case, we’re left with a boring, dark, and jumbled mess highlighted by color-by-numbers acting and generic plot points. Do yourself a favor and skip this one entirely.