The Immortals – Review by Susan Granger

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Promoting itself as a sort of sequel to “300,” this shallow, sword-and-sandals spectacular is appealing primarily to young males, eager for the violent, graphic slaughter of its predecessor. Problem is: it is incoherent carnage.

Set in 1228 B.C., the mythological tale of treachery and vengeance chronicles a time when the Greek gods of Olympus defeated the Titans, trapping them in a giant box where they’re organized in rows, joined at the mouth by rods. But when greedy King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) of the Heracleans releases them, they’re ready to once again make war on the gods and retrieve the fabled Bow of Epirus which bestows supreme power.

Even though his mother slept with both Poseidon and Aegeus on the night he was conceived, the buff-bodied young stonemason Theseus (Henry Cavill) hasn’t yet figured out that his father is a god. But he’s determined to get revenge on Hyperion for slitting his mortal mother’s throat – and he does – with the help of his impudent friend Stavros (Stephen Dorff) , a Sibylline Oracle named Phaedra (Freida Pinto from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and, obviously, Zeus (Zach Braff).

Born in India and educated in Pasadena, director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (“The Cell,” “The Fall”) is far more interested in creating garishly arresting, computer-generated visuals than story-telling although, admittedly, Greek-American screenwriting siblings Charley and Vias Parlapanides, whose ponderous dialogue is laughably stilted, haven’t given Tarsem much to work with. And the post-production 3-D conversion is far too dark.

So how brutal is the sadistic, R-rated, adrenaline-pumping action? Well, every man in the audience visibly cringed when Hyperion took a huge sledgehammer to one unfortunate’s crotch, presumably preventing him from ever reproducing, while his cohorts and enemies are sliced and diced into souvlaki-sized pieces.

FYI: after losing the plum James Bond role to Daniel Craig, the handsome 28 year-old British actor Henry Cavill will be playing “Superman” in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” in the not-too-distant future.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Immortals” is a ferocious 4, featuring ultimately forgettable gods of gore.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.