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The Gods Need a Hero 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Tarsem Singh 
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freda Pinto, John Hurt  
An image from Immortals

Years after the Titanomachy, when the Titans were sealed in Tartarus, trouble is stirring. King Hyperion (Rourke) is cutting swathes across Greece, looking for the Epirus Bow, created by the god Ares as an ultimate weapon. With it, he will be able to free the Titans once more and unleash them on the gods who imprisoned them. Unable to take a side in the war between Hyperion and those humans who stand in his way, the gods are forced to rely on Theseus (Cavill), son of Poseidon, to act in their stead and save humanity and the gods from the Titan’s revenge.

Immortals is in many ways similar to 300; it takes an old story, and brings it to the big screen with stylish visuals and a cast of well and not so well known actors. Indeed, the visuals are the most striking part of the film, going even so far as to surpass Sucker Punch in terms of detail and scale. It feels like a cross between Renaissance paintings and ancient Greek murals brought to life, and helps set the tone and feel of the film. Director Singh, whose only previous big film was 2000’s The Cell, once again shows his affinity for creating a believable, yet fantastical-looking film.

The acting is also strong here. The next Superman, Cavill, stands out as Theseus, who is forced to rise from peasant to warrior to stop the destruction, but Rourke as Hyperion is the real star, a gruff, unflinching man willing to go to any lengths for his goals. Pinto does herself proud as Phaedra, a priestess who ends up joining Theseus on his quest.

Immortals is an updated take on an old Greek myth, and like 300 before it, can at times feel like style is taking precedence over substance, but you’ll probably not be able to notice after being drawn into this striking world.

Thomas Freeman

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)