Oh, lucky day. I was channel surfing just now and stumble onto the opening credits of tonight’s SciFi.com “scinema” feature, Immortal. Struck by the oddity of just one character so far being played by a fully human actor, and most others with some sort of weird CGI overlay, I decided to record it and see what happens. So far, there’s ripoffs of concepts from the original Stargate movie (Egyptian gods emerging from sarcophagi), stylistic nods to Blade Runner, the Fifth Element, the European science fiction magazine Heavy Metal, and some seriously loopy and disjointed plotting, dialogue, and editing.
Also, there’s a beautiful pale girl who cries blue tears and seems to be some sort of criminal with odd medical quirks. Here’s what I found out so far:
Immortal may be the most jarring of the bunch, in part because it has the most ga-ga storyline, but also because the CGI is not just limited to its gorgeously detailed portrayal of a futuristic Manhattan. (Those scenes, taken by themselves, are among the best in film history.) The same tech is also used on most of the characters. Hardy, Kretschmann and Rampling are the only principals recognizable as flesh-and-blood human beings. The several other characters, God and Mortal, human or otherwise, are all created by actors whose performances have been overlaid with CGI makeup designed to make them look various degrees of odd—and it’s sad to report that none of these works at all well. They might have been tolerable enough, were they the norm for the film, but when constantly contrasted with the intermittent appearances of people with pores, they break the suspension of disbelief that keeps an audience emotionally invested. Combine this with a truly elliptical story structure, which refuses to establish key points until well after the midway point, and therefore doesn’t congeal as a narrative until well into the movie’s running time, and you emerge with a film that’s easy to admire as a spectacle but hard to care about as a story.
Okay, I’m in. I may not watch it all tonight – David’s out of town and I’m at loose ends as far as entertainment, and I can only listen to so many Eureka podcasts without needing a break.
And I agree that the cityscapes in the first 10 minutes are breathtakingly beautiful. Apparently I’ve already seen the two fleshpersons. So let’s hit “lay” and see what we have.
Oh. Well, that was a different entertainment experience. The story made AB-sofriggin-LUTELY no sense, but there were several sexy scenes. Lots of CGI gore. And a frickin’ space shark!
And the whole thing remained distressingly uncongealed, narrative-wise. Still, it was nice to look at and had an interesting sound track. Not a perfectly dreadful so much as a dreadfully incomprehensible one. In the end, we are left with a blue baby that can turn into a fluffy blue hawk that eats Parisian doves. Aaaand… credits.