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Film / Immortals

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Immortals is a 2011 American epic fantasy-action-adventure film directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke.

Immortals is the story of the legendary hero Theseus, as he seeks revenge on evil King Hyperion of Crete for, you guessed it, killing his mother. Hyperion plans to unleash the race of the Titans from their prison in order to take his revenge on the gods and wipe out humanity, but for that he needs the Epirus Bow and is willing to do just about anything to get it.

Which means saddle up, folks — there will be blood, and it's gonna be pretty. No, really, the battles are sheer Scenery Porn.

Not to be confused with Immortal, or the 1995 heist film The Immortals.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Athena, naturally. The oracles are no slouches either.
  • Adaptational Name Change: The king of Heraklion and Master of the Minotaur was named Minos in the Myths. Here, he is named Hyperion.
  • Adrenaline Time / Bullet Time: Used extensively when the Gods fight, as to show their superhuman powers. Conversely, it's used sparsely when humans fight: the battle between Hyperion's and Athens's armies starts in slow motion but the rest is seen at normal speed, chaotic, brutal and (relatively) more realistic. Same for the final confrontation between Theseus and Hyperion.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The MacGuffin of the film, the Epirus Bow, is clearly (for anyone with any knowledge of modern archery) a 21st century recurve... with sparkles stuck on it. It even has a plastic sight mount, but no sight.
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    • The name of Stavros, one of the supporting characters, is derived from the Greek word for cross - which obviously only became a proper name after Christianity arose.
  • And I Must Scream: The Titans are bound so that they cannot move, standing in rank with their mouths held open by a bar.
    • The prison that they are held in, is even more nightmarish. Known as the Tomb of Tartarus, the prison is deceptive in its appearance. Stepping and standing inside of it, feels like falling in an infinite abyss of pain and darkness. It's much bigger on the inside that it is on the outside, which is why there were additional Titans bursting and crawling out from inside of it after the first set of Titans got out and were being slaughtered.
  • Anyone Can Die: Ironically, nobody in this film is actually immortal - the Opening Monologue establishes that Gods can kills other Gods. The film does not disappoint. Ares is blown away by a flame whip. Apollo and Heracles are butchered by Titans. Athena is impaled on a spike by the Titans as well, who cut her sinews and throat with her own knives. Innumerable Titans are bloodily dismembered, decapitated, and burst like berries.
    • To be fair, the concept of "immortality" is also touched on as either living on through your descendents, or as a legend. That said, the only things that actually kill either gods or titans are other gods or titans; a human would have no chance of killing a god unless the god stood stock still AND the human had a divine weapon.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics:
    • Everything from people's names (also Anachronism Stew) to the ancient Greek mouthed by the oracles. Most egregious however is the place name of Kolpos Peninsula; Kolpos is Greek for gulf, making the name of the location bizarrely oxymoronic, and also hilarious to Greek speakers everywhere.
    • Kolpos is also used in Greek as the scientific term for female human genitalia, equivalent to English 'vagina'. And the protagonist is very fond of shouting "I AM THESEUS OF KOLPOS". That went about as well as you'd expect in Greek cinemas.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Theseus. It's in the title.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Despite dying, Hyperion still managed to accomplish his goal of unleashing the Titans to destroy the gods in a second war which results in the deaths of several of the major ones. He also manages to kill the hero and become "immortal" through his deeds and numerous offspring. Granted, he's remembered as a Dirty Coward who killed helpless women and children and used the Titans to do his dirty work, so it's not that much of a victory.
  • Asshole Victim: Lysander and pretty much everyone in Theseus's village.
  • Automaton Horses: Averted. While the horses are enchanted to never get tired, they do eventually just die from the strain of constant peak activity. Helpfully, this only happens after they've served their purpose.
  • Babies Ever After: In the ending, true to the Greek mythology, Phaedra gave birth to Theseus's son Acamas.
  • Badass Baritone: Theseus' deep voice conveys how strong and determined he is.
  • Big Bad: King Hyperion.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zeus and the Gods all have moments of this.
  • The Big Guy: Poseidon (well, he certainly looks bigger than most of the other gods).
  • Bigger on the Inside: The little box which only shows sixteen Titans standing in it actually holds far more. Titans are also shown breaking up from the floor showing it has multiple levels.
  • Broken Aesop: Let's run through a short list, shall we?
    • Theseus is told repeatedly to have faith in the gods. However, they are forbidden to help him and when they do break the rules they get fire-whipped to death.
    • Athena tells Zeus not to lose faith in humans. However, Theseus could have just twirled in place making airplane noises the whole movie and things would have played out exactly the same. He doesn't do jack to help with the Titans so why should Zeus have any faith in him?
    • Hyperion is obsessed with creating a legacy for himself through procreation. Theseus berates him saying that it's deeds, not flesh, that is immortal. HOWEVER, the movie ends with Hyperion getting a nice big place on a monument (granted people remember Hyperion as a worthless coward and not the cool warlord he sees himself as being) and Theseus' own fleshy legacy looking to become the next big hero.
  • The Brute: The Minotaur.
  • The Captain: Zeus (for the gods at least).
  • Cavalier Consumption: Hyperion and his nuts. In what may be a Stealth Pun, he offers some to the man he just castrated.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The brass bull at the oracle temple.
    • Early in the film, the Minotaur is briefly shown brushing some liquid on his wire mask for no obvious reason. Theseus' fight with him later reveals that it was poison. It accomplishes nothing but to serve as a minor bump for Phaedra during the subsequent After Action Patch Up; the audience wouldn't even have known about it if she hadn't mentioned it.
  • The Chick: Phaedra.
  • Child by Rape: In this version of the story, Theseus wasn't Aegeus' (or Poseidon's) son. Rather, he was conceived from his mother's rape by several men in her village (of course, even the original version is kind of sketchy that way).
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: It's kind of Hyperion's thing. The scenes in the temple after he's set up base there are chock full of people being subjected to lots and lots of pain.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The gods are white and gold while the titans are black and red.
  • Combat Haircomb: The Seeresses have them for emergencies.
  • Costume Porn
  • Cursed With Awesome: Phaedra believes her visions are this.
  • Daddy's Girl: Athena to Zeus, naturally.
  • Deus ex Machina: When the group is cornered on a slave ship, Poseidon leaps off Mount Olympus, plummets into the ocean and causes a tidal wave to help them escape. Later on, when Theseus is about to be killed by several of Hyperion's men, Ares comes down as well and absolutely slaughters his opponents in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Dirty Coward: Lysander, who systematically betrays his allies rather than face his enemies just to stay alive a bit longer.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Although gods and magic still play a large role in the whole ordeal, the Minotaur is not a hybrid of a man and a bull. He is instead a freakishly large torture device operator who wears a wire bull mask because his favorite contraption seems to be the Bronze Bull.
  • Doomed Hometown: Theseus's home town gets assaulted by Hyperion's army early on, and many of the villagers are killed or enslaved, including himself.
  • The Dragon: The Minotaur, again.
    • Also the aptly-named Mondragon.
  • Energy Bow: The Epirus Bow is a normal-looking bow that can limitlessly fire arrows made of pure energy, powerful enough to blast through a stone wall or kill a man in one shot.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Hyperion setting a harmless, unarmed priest on fire (with obvious relish) after spitting in the purification water.
  • Eye Scream: One poor fellow gets his eyes gouged out with Hyperion's thumbs.
  • Faceless Goons: Hyperion claims the masks make everyone equal. More likely he's just following Rule of Cool.
  • Failure Hero: Theseus who drops the bow, needs divine rescue several times after making stupid decisions, and despite rallying the Greeks and killing Hyperion is too little too late since Hyperion had already freed the Titans and his army was too vast to be defeated by the remaining Greeks.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: 3000 years ago, most people were atheists. Kings would openly deny the gods in front of their people, even during the most dire of crises. Theseus is one, too, for most of the film. However, the gods are strictly forbidden from directly interfering in godly ways; when mortals DO see an Olympian in full might for the first time they're understandably awestruck that it's even happening, even the extremely devout ones.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Hyperion becomes the leader of a massive army and goes on a conquering spree after his prayers to the gods to save his wife and child went unheeded. In the end he also ends up freeing the Titans, who were imprisoned by Zeus, and several gods are killed while trying to contain them.
  • Gorn: The battle scenes blend Ludicrous Gibs and Made of Plasticine, and Hyperion's shows plenty of it due to his Cold-Blooded Torture and Bad Boss tendencies.
  • Groin Attack: Hyperion orders Lysander to be castrated. By the Minotaur. With a big hammer.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: More than one Titan in the final battle gets graphically bisected by Zeus, Poseidon and Athena, with at least one getting halved diagonally. With plenty of CGI-Gorn for good measure.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: The Archon of the Greeks is sure he and Hyperion can negotiate...
    • Literally right up until Hyperion cuts his head off.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Zeus really wants the mortals to win their own battles.
  • The Hero Dies: Theseus perished in the final battle... but he got better, with a scene before the credits showing how he's now a warrior in heaven fighting alongside the other gods in a never-ending war against the Titans.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The Greek Gods, specifically Zeus and Poseidon, often depicted as gruff old men, are here depicted as good looking, muscular pretty boys. Who also happen to be very badass.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: The final one-on-one battle between Theseus and Hyperion.
  • I Am Spartacus: There are four oracles, but only one is the true one. The other three are there to protect the real one's identity. When Hyperion asks which one of the three is the real one, they all reply in the same way: "I am the oracle." Once he's told a fourth escaped, he is quick to realize they're full of crap and roasts them alive inside of the aforementioned metal bull for their obstinacy. The girls kept saying "I am the oracle" over and over until their last breath.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Hyperion calls the temple monk on this, knowing that he cannot take any life, his own included, and therefore has no choice but to talk. The monk cuts off his tongue in response.
  • Immortality Through Memory: This trope is the centerpiece around Hyperion's entire plan. His end goal is to become an immortal, by destroying the gods and having his named passed down through generations. Despite dying, Hyperion still managed to accomplish his goal of unleashing the Titans to destroy the gods in a second war which results in the deaths of several of the major ones as revenge. He also manages to kill the hero and become "immortal" through his deeds and numerous offspring. Granted, he's remembered as a Dirty Coward who killed helpless women and children and used the Titans to do his dirty work, so it's not that much of a victory since he will live forever on a legacy of infamy and ridicule.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Theseus shoots four arrows in a row with the Epirus Bow, hitting four soldiers at the same time. Justified because it's a magic bow after all.
  • Ironic Echo: "Experience Hell." Said by Hyperion before he kills Theseus' mother by slitting her throat and later Theseus when he finishes off Hyperion by stabbing him in the throat.
  • Jerkass Gods: Averted with most of the pantheon, who spend much of the film fretting over the fate of humanity, but Zeus definitely counts. Really, the only benefit of Athena's possible death was seeing Zeus suffer a little over all his stupidity.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The Archon.
  • Kill Them All: Not only is Phaedra just about the only mortal main character left alive by the end, but other than Zeus, Poseidon and possibly Athena (plus a apotheosized Theseus) they've managed to wipe out all of the pantheon that was shown as well. Actually, there is one blink and you miss it moment on Mount Olympus showing a god wearing winged helmet - possibly Hermes.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Hyperion killed Theseus's mother by slitting her throat. At the end Theseus kills Hyperion by stabbing him in the throat - and the dirty bastard actually looks surprised by his death.
  • Last Stand: The remnants of the Greek army at the final battle. It's implied that they won and successfully defended the wall in the final battle, since Phaedra is still around and with her son at the end. Zeus crashing the mountain down on the enemy's side and destroying a large portion of them probably helped too.
  • Lawful Stupid: Zeus's stubborn refusal to direct godly interference under any circumstance allows the Titans to break free and results in the death of at least half of the shown pantheon, though the ending reveals there are hundreds, if not thousands more Immortals who join Zeus and Theseus's ranks for the ongoing battle. Comic tie-ins explain Zeus developed this law so humanity could develop on its own (and he does have a line about this in the film, so his goal by itself is not inherently bad but his execution is more like that of a stubborn parent). However, his strict adherence to it makes Zeus the veritable embodiment of this trope. Going against an army of immortals that can actually kill gods, wouldn't it be nice to have a god of war on your side? Didn't we have one of those, Zeus?
  • Loophole Abuse: While Zeus is forced to kill Ares for helping the heroes out, he manages to spare Athena since she technically didn't interfere; she simply provided some horses that they could ride. Also he still managed to train Theseus in the arts of war, since he's not helping him "as a god", but merely as a mortal counselor.
    • Also done by Poseidon, who merely uses the sea as his means for protecting Theseus and company from a shipload of Heraklions instead of directly intervening in their favor.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Henry Cavill as Theseus, Luke Evans as Zeus, Stephen Dorff as the thief, and Kellan Lutz as Poseidon for starters. It helps that most of the male cast (gods especially) walk around shirtless for the majority of the movie.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Phaedra (Freida Pinto, who strips naked so that we see her bare butt take up half the screen). Unfortunately, this is only a very convincing Body Double. However, Athena appears as a living, topless stone statue.
  • Nice Hat: Pretty much everyone except for Theseus. The pantheon and the oracles get extra points. It's even lampshaded. As one of his reasons not to bother with religious ritual, Theseus notes that the village priest has a ridiculous hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • A chunk of Hyperion's evil schemes (and about a third of the film) could've been avoided if Theseus hadn't dropped the Epirus Bow like it was a bar of soap.
    • Also when Zeus kills Ares. With the threat of the Titans breaking loose, maybe Zeus should have considered keeping around the guy whose job title is "God of War".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Okay picture this. You're the skillful leader of a massive army. You've cut off the enemy's reinforcements such you outnumber them perhaps 10 to 1. You have in your possession a magical Energy Bow that can fire infinite shots and can lay waste to men and rocky walls alike. The enemy's morale is low, and are likely to lose hope easily against your troops. So what do you do when you come up to a massive wall? You fire precisely one shot at it, making one small hole for your troops to attack through, where the defenders can easily hold you off.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: The Epirus Bow is Hyperion's entire motivation for the story. Subverted in that: Theseus never had any use for it other than to save his friends once, Hyperion has no further use for it after he frees the titans, and it is promptly destroyed when Zeus intervenes to fight them.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The pantheon apparently consists of only Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Ares and Herakles. Only five shows up to stop the Titans. Then at the end, there's a huge army of gods for some reason.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat:
    • The Greek king/leader at the Greek wall near the end of the film. He argues that the conflict with Hyperion can be settled peacefully with talk while Theseus argues in favor of war and defense preparations. In the final battle, as he tries talking to Hyperion, the villain simply lops his head off instead.
    • Zeus again with his refusal to intervene on behalf of the humans.

  • Offing the Annoyance: The Archon begins trying to negotiate with Hyperion... who promptly cuts his head off while walking past him.

  • Offing the Offspring: Zeus executes Ares for directly interfering to help Theseus.

  • Off with His Head!: There are quite a few decapitations during the movie.

  • Pals with Jesus: Zeus just loves hanging out with the Flat-Earth Atheist protagonist. Mostly during decades of backstory.

  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: The Titans. Untold ages caged under a mountain, and they are able to take on gods seconds after being freed.

  • Previews Pulse: Many gods, many pulses.

  • The Quisling: Lysander, who by the end is so sick of it that he just runs into Theseus' sword.

  • Rage Against the Heavens: Hyperion, who wants to free the Titans to destroy the Gods - and doesn't care if humanity gets wiped out in the process. This motivation basically sets in motion the events of the entire movie.

  • Really 700 Years Old: All of the gods, due to being immortal obviously, but this film in particular stands out due to the very youthful appearances of all the pantheon, especially when compared with more... typical portrayals. Athena even comments upon it. When she meets with Zeus for the first time, he changes from his "Old Man" human form into his godly appearance, and she remarks that prior to doing so he actually looked like a father, or grandfather, as opposed to his true appearance.

  • Religious Russian Roulette: Hyperion's justification for killing all the gods? They didn't step in and stop his wife and daughter from dying of plague. Interestingly, this becomes Motive Decay since he gleefully goes on his quest for the Epirus Bow more to gain an immortal legacy through procreation than to avenge their deaths. Furthermore, his motivation would be more than justified considering the Greek pantheon are jerkass gods in a lot of the stories... except for this one.

  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Lysander, who defects to Hyperion after being relieved of his position, is immediately scarred a mark of shame on his face and castrated under Hyperion's orders.

  • Rousing Speech: Theseus gives one to the Greek defenders, instantly winning over everyone who was just mocking him as a bastard mere seconds before. He does this by awkwardly whining that he's nobody special. However, he could just be trying to convince the defending army that he isn't above anyone else.

  • Sadly Mythtaken: Pretty much everything except names and a few basic plot elements. Rule of Cool is definitely in effect.

  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • Ares comes down to save Theseus, despite Zeus telling the gods not to interfere directly in their affairs. He gets flame-whipped for his actions.
    • Poseidon does earlier in the film as well, but uses Loophole Abuse by causing a tidal wave and letting the water take out the Mooks, rather than attack them directly.

  • Sequel Hook: The ending indicates a war in Olympus.

  • Shirtless Scene: And how!

  • Shout-Out:
    • It was produced by the same people as 300, so these are to be expected. Most blatant is when Theseus rallies the troops to the hole in the wall by claiming that in the narrow passage, "their numbers mean nothing".
    • The climax, which features Zeus fighting with chains and then using chains to tear down a mountain, echoes the climax of the 1958 Hercules film in which Hercules (played by the late body builder Steve Reeves), the son of Zeus, fought off his enemies with chains and then used the chains to tear down a building.

  • Shown Their Work: No funeral pyres to see here; Theseus buries his mother exactly the way the Greeks buried their dead in 13th century B.C.: the completely shrouded corpse laid to rest in a vault inside a massive tomb... which is where the film's MacGuffin happens to be.

  • The Smurfette Principle: Athena is the only female god seen in the entire film. Phaedra is also the only female travelling with Theseus.

  • Someone to Remember Him By: Theseus ascends to a higher plane of existence, and leaves Phaedra with a son, who seems to be on the way of Generation Xerox for both of his parents, even being mentored by Zeus' human form.

  • Spiritual Successor: Trailers for Immortals state "From the Producers of 300."

  • Start of Darkness: Hyperion's vengeance against the gods starts after his prayers to save his dying wife and child go unanswered. He ends up freeing the Titans that Zeus had imprisoned before, and the gods struggle to contain them after being freed.

  • Tongue Trauma: The monk of the temple where the Epirus Bow is kept, in order to prevent Hyperion torturing the bow's location from him, does this to himself. That's dedication. The only reason he didn't just kill himself outright is because his vow wouldn't let him.

  • Uncertain Doom: Athena is badly wounded, including having her throat cut, but its never shown if she explicitly died, and she was fully capable of speech even with those wounds. After destroying Tartarus Zeus picks her up and the last we see of them is two golden orbs rising into the sky.

  • Unknown Rival: The entire motivation for Lysander's Face–Heel Turn is to get revenge on Theseus for getting him kicked out of the army; he seeks Theseus out during the Final Battle, but Theseus simply kills him, and doesn't even seem to recognize him.

  • Villain Ball: Hyperion holds this a few times throughout the film. Some examples:
    • Using only a few guards to escort some freshly captured prisoners who look like they could easily overpower them with some help.
    • Taking out the eyes of your loyal spy who uses a magical bird to watch enemy movements to "silence" him, instead of merely threatening him to not speak of things the hero has done. Unless he intends to never use said spy's services again.
    • Sending out a small group of soldiers to go after the hero, rather than a large group of at least dozens since it's shown he has thousands under his command.
    • Not giving more support to your troops in the final battle. See Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!. It probably wouldn't have hurt his plans much to have at least a dozen guards with him when he went to free the Titans either.

  • Virgin Power: Phaedra, as an oracle, has the gift of prophecy as long as she remains a virgin. Of course, when she takes care of Theseus while he's wounded she soon takes care of that as well.

  • Virgin Vision: Stavros can tell that Phaedra had sex with Theseus just by looking at her.

  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The male gods. The thief just about counts too.

  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Hyperion's motives for his Rage Against the Heavens was that his family fell ill and was dying, and when he pleaded to them to help save them, they did nothing. So in response he vowed to free the Titans so as to destroy the gods who ignored his pleas for help.

  • You Have Failed Me: Hyperion engages in this a few times.

  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Take a wild guess.

  • You Killed My Father: Or his mother, in Theseus's case.

  • Your Head A-Splode:
    • Sort of. When Ares intervenes to help Theseus, he is so fast that enemy soldiers seem to stand still compared to him, and the strikes of his hammer so powerful, their heads just blow up on contact.
    • As seen in the final fight, this seems to be a specialty of the gods.


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