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Jan Thijs/©War of the Gods, LLC

Immortals

Movies | The storyline is often inexplicably mystical with characters coming and going without much explanation of their motives

Issue: "Border bandits," Dec. 3, 2011

Underneath gallons of blood spatter, clanging sword fights, and extravagant imagery, the producers of Immortals (rated R for nudity and graphic violence) seem to have something on their minds, namely, what's at stake when cultures, as opposed to nations, war.

Representing the cause of death and tyranny is King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who seeks the legendary Epirus Bow so that he might unleash the Titans, destroy humanity, and show the ultimate disdain for the gods. Olympus and the cause of liberty have their own champion, the peasant warrior Theseus (Henry Cavill).

The storyline is often inexplicably mystical with characters coming and going without much explanation of what their motives are or why they couldn't have acted earlier (particularly confusing is what use there is in worshipping gods who pledge not to interfere in the lives of men). This is a movie for the senses, not a movie to try to make sense of. Which is why to the degree it has a theme at all, it's worth noting that it seems to be that the leaders of the West don't understand what they're up against.

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Sickened to discover Hyperion's men intentionally target pregnant women and children, an insightful Theseus remarks, "They fight for a belief that allows them to kill without restraint." To this, Poseidon (Kellan Lutz) notes sadly that the Hellenes have not adjusted their strategy for such a mind-set. His point is underlined when a seemingly sophisticated politician argues for compromise with Hyperion, counseling Theseus that "all any power wants is to be taken seriously at the negotiating table." Flash forward several scenes and we see the bloody result of his folly.

I'm loath to give such a macabre production credit it does not deserve. But one comforting thought about the droves of late-teen and 20-something men who turn out for these kinds of homages to video-game gore: At least with this one, they're getting the anti-relativistic message that some powers seek only to destroy and Western culture is worth a fight.

Megan Basham
Megan Basham

Megan, a regular correspondent for WORLD News Group, is a writer and film critic living in Memphis, Tenn.. She is the author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide to Having It All.

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