I’m talking about Tarsem Singh – one of the few working film makers today who could be called a visionary without fear of being contradicted – and his latest exercise in style-as-substance, the mythologically-inspired, in- 3D-because-no-one-demanded-it-except-the-accountants epic, “Immortals”.
New Superman, Henry Cavill heads a cast which includes Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Mickey Rourke and Stephen Dorff in a tale of mortals being manipulated by the Gods in a war of the heavens.
If you think that you’ve already seen this film, I sympathise with your confusion – you’re perhaps thinking of Louis Leterrier’s shrill, equally star-embiggened and ultimately under-whelming remake of “Clash of the Titans”, which somehow did well enough to get a sequel in 2012, despite nobody that I know having a good word to say about it.
This telling of classical Greek mythology doesn’t feature Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes apparently channelling a Norwegian Black Metal band frontman or lovely, multi-storey Kraken action – this is the one that looks like “300”, only directed by Tarsem Singh, the bloke who made wretched Jennifer Lopez serial killer vehicle, “The Cell”, eye-popping fantasy “The Fall” and famously, REM’s iconic “Losing My Religion” video.
Having viewed the various trailers for this film, I got the sense that we would at least be getting to see a film which was at least visually sumptuous, if one that was lacking in coherence and coasting on the eye for production design and staging which has seen Singh through most of his previous films – “The Cell” had an astonishing look and little else to commend it bar a genuinely nasty tone, “The Fall” was gorgeous, moving and quite original.
The early reviews, as you might have seen above, are mixed.
I like Singh’s style but I’m not convinced that he’s the right guy for this kind of film – painterly compositions and visual flair may just get in the way of the non-stop blood-lust and violence which “Immortals” promises in extremis – behold this quite Not Safe For Work, Home or the Easily Disturbed clip hosted at Screen Rant.
See – there’s a distinctive clash between the style, the costume design, the set decor and, oh, the bloody heads and torsos being hacked about left, right and centre.
It’s just a little off to me and I’m now not so sure that I’ll go to see it, even if it does look a bit like “God of War – The Movie”.