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Immortals -

Tarsem takes his unique visual style to a world where it's a good fit, Greek mythology, for a pretty good telling of the story of Theseus (Cavill). Our hero is a peasant whose strength and honor earned him the favor of the Gods, which is something our villain, King Hyperion (Rourke), would never want. He aims to kill them, in fact, and to do that, he needs the lost Epirus Bow, which will free imprisoned titans who can take care of that for him. It's up to Theseus to find it first, and he has allies in Phaedra (Pinto), the Oracle whose visions reveal what he's capable of, wisecracking thief Stavros (Dorff) and of course the Mt. Olympians, who assist despite Zeus's (Evans) command that they do not directly intervene in human affairs.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Tarsem is one of film's best artists and he more than achieves his goal of making the movie seem like a moving Renaissance painting. From Theseus's cliffside home to the seas of soldiers in Hyperion's army, I wanted each cut to last longer than it should just so I could bask in their visual splendor. That applies to the scenery and to the action, which employs slow motion in ways that make 300's use of it seem juvenile. It's easy to see why Cavill became a household name after this came out for how much charisma and physicality he exudes. From his gravelly voice to how he milks Hyperion's disregard for anyone in his way, Rourke is a worthy foil. I'm also happy to see John Hurt (R.I.P.), who plays Theseus's mentor, in anything and every scene gets better once the Gods show up.

What holds this back from greatness, though, is even though it doesn't look like anything else, it still does, if you will. The story is too much like those in the typical comic book origin story. I wasn't surprised to learn it's a melange of many Greek myths because the writers probably massaged in a way to make it resemble the typical blockbuster's at the time. Again, it's worth watching if you also love visually rich experiences, if you're simply in the mood for a decent action movie or if you have even a faint interest in Greek mythology. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't make you more interested in the subject.