Sing to me, O Muse, of gods and men, of timeless legends and forgettable retreads. Speak of Immortals and answer in all seriousness: did you even read that awful script?
As Greece teeters on the edge of financial collapse, the producers of 300 seem eager to dropkick the country into a cultural abyss. Their latest sword-and-sandals spectacular, Immortals, plunders the canon of ancient myths like a barbarian horde piling up spoils as the temple burns.
This jumbled epic of absurd coincidences and logical gaps can barely track its internal mythology. Such nonsense defies synopsis. Suffice it to say that there are muscly he-men (Henry Cavill), distressed damsels (Freida Pinto), evil despots (Mickey Rourke) and vengeful gods (John Hurt).
Immortals is the latest disaster of post-conversion 3-D, a projected spectacle so dark it is literally hard to see. This is an ugly, burlap sack of a film, stitched with jagged seams and overstuffed with computer-generated chintz, gold-lam? leotards and fetishistic headgear.
The choreography of flying viscera and cartoonish blood splattering is only occasionally inventive. The adolescent violence would be boringly unobjectionable, but its overtones of sexual sadism are crude and creepy.
?A man?s seed can be his most brutal weapon,? says Mr. Rourke, as the monstrous King Hyperion, in what is definitely the film?s grossest line, though not its most ridiculous.
The queasy combo of childish fantasy and adult desire has become a signature of the self-described ?visionary? director Tarsem Singh, whose debut film, The Cell, looked like a sex dungeon designed by the bubble-gum-pop artist Lisa Frank. His garish color palette continues to fascinate and repulse.
To coin a tagline: This ? is ? stupid.