A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Immortals is an action/fantasy movie filled with tons of fighting, violence, and blood -- all rendered even more visceral and intense in 3-D. The movie's impressive visuals and costume design are notable, but they're overshadowed by the violence, which is very, very strong, especially once the gods get involved. There's slow-motion bashing of skulls -- several at a time, with flying brain, bone, and blood -- and three young women are the victims of torture, though that particular act isn't shown onscreen (the aftermath is). There's one sex act between the hero and the heroine, with kissing and some nudity. Other movies in this genre, like 300, have been popular, and kids may want to see this, too. But it should only be for the most mature teens.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In 1228 B.C., the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) seeks the Epirus Bow, a magical weapon that will give him unimaginable power and enable him to free the monstrous Titans, imprisoned since time immemorial within the rock of Mount Tartaros. The gods are powerless to intervene, but hope comes in the form of human Theseus (Henry Cavill), who's gifted in battle. Together with a beautiful oracle (Freida Pinto) and a thief (Stephen Dorff), Theseus must find a way to stop Hyperion before it's too late.
Is it any good?
It seems as if there's no way at all to make these kinds of gladiator/barbarian/centurion battle movies any good. No matter how impressive the visuals, no matter how bloody or brutal the fighting, they're always stuck with flat dialogue, wooden acting, stiff characters, and stories with no point. That's certainly the case with IMMORTALS, despite the apparent "visionary" status of director Tarsem Singh, who's best known for his striking TV commercials and music videos, as well as two previous movies, The Cell (2000) and The Fall (2006).
The focus here is certainly on the extreme gore; the oversize, computer-generated sets; and the bizarre costumes (as well as Cavill's chiseled chest), but without a reason for any of this stuff, what's the point? Even as the explosive violence ramps up as the movie goes along, the boredom only grows greater. Some viewers might argue for a bit of "camp" value in all this, but many others won't want to bother.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence. How does it compare to what you've seen in other action movies? In horror movies? What kind of movie violence has the most impact?
Do you think the filmmakers intended audiences to get a particular message from watching this movie? If so, what would it be?
If you were born into a society like this, where fighting is the solution to every problem, what would you do? How would you try to live your life?
- In theaters: November 11, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: March 6, 2012
- Cast: Freida Pinto, Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke
- Director: Tarsem Singh
- Studio: Relativity Media
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sequences of strong bloody violence, and a scene of sexuality