Year: 2011
Production Co: Relativity Media
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Charles Parlapanides/Vlas Parlapanides
Cast: Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Isabel Lucas

It's hard being a critically renowned filmmaker known for your original outlook and startling visuals but who's never really crammed a cinema full. Such is the case with Tarsem Singh – even though The Cell was a procedural cop thriller his imaginative visuals placed it several rungs higher than other films in the genre (in fact it was so way out it can be argued the thriller aspect was secondary).

With no stars and a far from blockbuster budget ($30m) he could afford to go even more abstract in The Fall, with even stronger, wackier imagery and a storybook quality that was just charming.

In wanting to join the big leagues of a studio adventure movie, it seems he's had to pay penance by caving in to the demands of some executive demanding more sex appeal and battles. You get the feeling he hasn't been the least interested in 'sexy' movies so far but this one has powerful studio paw prints all over it, greenlit on the back of other swords and sandals money spinners like Clash of the Titans .

You see the promise of his visual flair taking off once or twice, particularly in the scene of the Titans locked in their cage by the use of long poles and clips that anchor them by the mouth. But that's as far as it goes until we get a delicious full frontal shot of virgin clairvoyant Phaedra's (Pinto) arse – or at least her arse double – and the Greek gods slicing the titans in halves and quarters with orgiastic glee.

Peasant and hero Theseus (soon-to-be Superman Cavill), is chosen by Zeus and his Olympus-dwelling family to lead humanity in the struggle against the megalomaniacal king Hyperion (Rourke, either drunk throughout the shoot or overdoing 'grizzled'). Hyperion wants to find a mythical bow that creates arrows of light out of thin air and always hits its target so he can enslave humanity and even though the other gods want to help, Zeus forbids them.

I have no idea why that is, because when Hyperion releases the Titans they have no hesitation in flying down to Earth dressed in outfits that look like they came from last year's gay Mardi Gra to subdue them in a blistering bullet time sequence.

From about 15 minutes in, Immortals starts to spiral out of control. You start off waiting for Tarsem's signature moves, then you wonder when it's going to stop looking like a 300 rip off, then you start laughing nervously, and by the time of Theseus and Hyperion's climactic fight you'll have given up any hope.

But don't give up on Tarsem Singh just yet. Immortals hasn't set the world on fire but it's done brisk business. We can only hope increased box office gives him more clout and one day in the future we might see his Inception – a masterful vision with strong storytelling and his distinctive mark that hasn't been butchered by executive marketing committees.

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