A brave young stonemason assembles a fierce band of warriors to prevent an evil king from acquiring the artifact that will permit him to rule the world in this epic mythological fantasy from visionary filmmaker Tarsem Singh. King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is a brutal tyrant on a bloody mission to seek out the mythical Bow of Epirus. Should he succeed, even the gods of Olympus will be forced to bow before him. In his efforts to locate the invincible and elusive weapon, Hyperion leads his Heraklion army on a brutal rampage across Greece, razing every town in their path, and killing with impunity. When the Hyperions lay waste to his village and cut down his mother in cold blood, vengeful stonemason Theseus (Henry Cavill) emerges from the rubble determined to make the king pay for his crimes. Later, the Sybelline Oracle, Phaedra (Freida Pinto), experiences a vision of Theseus' future that convinces her he will play a pivotal role in defeating King Hyperion. Armed with that supernatural knowledge, she agrees to help Theseus assemble a small army capable of defeating the tyrannical king and preventing him from enslaving the entire human race. Stephen Dorff, Kellan Lutz, and John Hurt co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, RoviMovie TypeMovie Level Themes
Heroic Mission, Immortality, Chosen OneMovie Level Tones
Gruesome, Lavish, Slick, Stylized, Sweeping, Atmospheric
- It's No Myth
- Deleted scenes
The sword-and-sandals genre gets a stylized shot to the senses with this hard-R-rated epic from visionary director Tarsem Singh. Using Greek mythology as a backdrop, the filmmaker has created a fantastical picture full of epic scale, classical compositions, and, oh yes, lots of blood for the audience to feast upon. And while the drama doesn't hold quite enough weight to justify the film's deliberate pacing (the picture clocks in at just under two hours), the out-there visuals and commanding leads help keep it from wallowing in big-army-fights-big-army computer-generated tedium.
The story centers on peasant hero Theseus (Henry Cavill), who, under the tutelage of a disguised Zeus (Luke Evans), becomes mankind's best hope when a grief-stricken tyrant (Mickey Rourke) aims to take on the gods by setting free a group of deadly immortals known as the Titans. With the help of an oracle (Freida Pinto) and a rogue warrior (Stephen Dorff), Theseus leads an army into battle in order to prevent a war between two powerful gods from wiping out humanity.
Lovers of the weird will rejoice in the Alejandro Jodorowsky-like imagery throughout, as will fetishists of violence during the moments when the picture gets crazy with gore. Cavill, Pinto, and Rourke are all solid, with only Dorff seeming a bit out of step with the rest of the cast. More than anything, the movie is about the experience of watching it. Few directors bring as much of an eye for lush visual cinema as Tarsem does -- and here he's managed to deliver a big-budget Hollywood picture as if it were painted by a Renaissance artist. That's really the hook for the film: If you want a gorgeous, high-tech spectacle that isn't afraid to squash some heads along the way, look no further. Those looking for Harryhausen-esque creatures or Shakespearean monologues best keep walking. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
DVD Drive or DVD Player