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Director: Tarsem Singh
Tarsem Singh – responsible for such films as the glossy but empty J-Lo vehicle “The Cell” and the criminally underrated film “The Fall” – returns with another stylized adventure epic the likes of which cinema audiences have not seen for almost, um, five minutes.
Henry Cavill (who will soon be all over the place when he plays Superman in the new reboot of the franchise) plays Theseus, a lowly peasant who begins to lead an army against the machinations of the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke, who chews so much scenery it’s a wonder that he did not suffer a large bout of indigestion in making the movie). Hyperion is after the Epirus Bow, a legendary weapon that will give him power above all others.
Highly stylized, in the manner of “300,” this sees lots and lots of violence perpetrated by a bunch of actors who are clearly having fun dressing up and acting silly. For what it is, there are some very impressive sequences thanks to the inventive work of Singh (though those who watch the film in 3D will undoubtedly feel that the technology has been tacked on at the last moment as the film never really makes use of it at all). But there’s very much a feeling of ‘been there, done that’ throughout the entire film and the failure of the storyline to do anything new soon makes everything rather dull.
Aside from the aforementioned over-the-top performance from Rourke, Cavill is all stoic and serious in the lead role. Whilst he doesn’t disgrace himself, he doesn’t exactly exude charisma from every pore and it certainly doesn’t help raise the enjoyment levels of the film in any way, shape or form.
If you like people hacking bits off other people for two hours you should enjoy this (and also probably seek help). Everyone else will find the old English motto “Familiarity breeds contempt” somewhat apt.