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November 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

They spent a lot of money on filming Immortals — reports say $80-100 million — and it shows. Would that they had invested similar resources in the script and cast, most critics complain. “The Immortals is without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see,” remarks Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. But the plot, he says, left him completely mystified. “Characters would turn up for the first time, seem terrifically important, and disappear. If at many moments I had stopped the film and asked anybody around me, ‘who is that, and what are they doing and why?,’ I think they’d have been stuck for an answer.” Similarly, Kyle Smith in the New York Post calls the movie “a buffet for the retinas and a fast for the mind.” Many of the images — in 3D, no less — are gruesome battle scenes in which the director, Tarsem Singh, “choreograph[s] pain in fierce fashion,” writes Betsy Sharky in the Los Angeles Times. “All the unimaginable ways to inflict a world of hurt are imagined here in frightful images that seem to rise right off the screen. What’s missing is the emotion that might have lifted the film and us as well,” she adds. It’s all simply “stupid,” Paul Brunick sums up in the New York Times. “The adolescent violence would be boringly unobjectionable, but its overtones of sexual sadism are crude and creepy. ‘A man’s seed can be his most brutal weapon,’ says [costar Mickey] Rourke, as the monstrous King Hyperion, in what is definitely the film’s grossest line, though not its most ridiculous.” The film does score one decent review from a major newspaper critic, the New York Daily News‘s Elizabeth Weitzman: “It must be said that Immortals is pulpy fun that feels utterly ludicrous whenever it hints at more solemn aspirations,” she writes, “But that’s okay. A popcorn movie has one goal, and that’s to entertain. Immortals meets this criteria handily, and serves as a splendid spectacle besides.”