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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover



Starring: Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto and Mickey Rourk
Universal Pictures UK
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 05 March 2012

Eons after the gods defeated the Titans, power-hungry King Hyperion has declared war on humanity and begun searching for the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power. Ancient laws dictate that the gods cannot intervene in man’s conflict, so peasant Theseus is their only hope. An almighty battle erupts between The Titans and the gods whilst Theseus enters into a bloody clash with Hyperion...

Everyone knows the Greek mythology behind Theseus (even if they don't remember the guy's name). He was the mortal man who entered the labyrinth and slaughtered the minotaur. That's pretty much all you need to know going into this film as the rest of the plot, rather than being borrowed from Greek mythology, appears to have been conjured out of thin air.

The film follows Theseus as he grows into a warrior, eventually heading an army against King Hyperion. Hyperion is on a quest to free the Titans (fallen gods) so that... well, actually it's never really made clear why Hyperion has made this his ultimate quest. It could be because a crab scarred his face... its never really explained. Or, if it was, it was in one of those segments of the movie where I had a hard time staying awake.

The film is so slow moving, and so full of cliches you've seen in countless better movies, that my mind kept wandering. You need to concentrate in order to fathom out what's going on throughout this film's duration. Let your mind wander for a second and you've lost it. Personally, for me, that's not a great way to tell a story. It basically takes the 'hero's journey' theory from Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces (which has been the backbone of countless film plots including the original Star Wars movie) and throws away the good parts.

The acting ranges from average to poor, but to be fair this is more an issue with the script. There are some terrible lines that shouldn't have made it past the first draught. Add to this the fact that some of the costume design choices are at best misguided, and you have a disaster waiting to happen. I mean, come on, these are gods... and they choose to wear a fine art student's first attempt at comical Greek god head attire? What's that all about? But, hey, they're gods. Who am I to judge? But Hyperion? He should know better. If you're a mean and moody imposing character... wearing a crab claw hat... well, it's just not very intimidating is it? If he was going for the camp king look, well that's another matter. It's little things like this, which take your mind off the story and have you questioning: "What the hell were they thinking?", that ends up spoiling the film.

The sets and visual style of the movie are well realised, even if some of the landscapes looked flat. Visually there's a lot here that's borrowed from Tarsem Singh's previous movie The Fall. Without even knowing Singh was the director, I'm guessing that most people who've seen The Fall will instantly realise it's the same director.

The sound is also rather poorly mixed. The effects make your teeth rattle (we were watching this in surround sound), but if you turn the sound down then you can hardly hear a word the actors are muttering. The music, on the other hand is fantastic. Trevor Morris is best known for composing the music for the TV series The Tudors, and here he lets rip with a score that is worthy of a much better movie.

And then we get to the end of the movie and it's obvious where all the money has been spent. The final battle is impressive and has some great CGI work, but endless Titans being killed soon loses its impact and I was just wishing everything would wrap up so I could watch something a little more interesting.

Extras include It's no Myth (5 min, 29 sec look at Greek mythology); Carravaggio meets Fight Club (20 min, 29 sec making of feature); Deleted Scenes (7 min, 21 sec); Alternate Opening Scene - Young Theseus (11 min, 33 sec which includes a different opening that explores Theseus's childhood. It also explains in more detail how King Hyperion received his facial scars and why he wears that strange looking crab claw helmet); Alternate Ending - This is Our Last Embrace (8 min, 37 sec); Alternate Ending - Theseus Kills Hyperion (4 min, 05 sec); Theatrical Trailer (2 min, 25 sec) and Immortal: Gods & Heroes Comic Book (which is a comic book that you can pause and zoom in to read the pages).

I was surprised to see that Singh (or any body from the production for that matter) hadn't provided an audio commentary. It would have been interesting to hear some of the thinking behind areas of the production I couldn't get my head around.

Visually (on the whole) stunning, this film is let down because someone forgot the main ingredients that produce an entertaining viewing experience. Believable acting, characters we can care about or relate too and a story that's actually going somewhere are sadly absent. The end result is a bit of a disappointment.


Darren Rea

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