Normally, when I see a film that I decide I hate I tend to at least watch it in its entirety to give it a chance to impress me in some way before I completely forget about it, only reminding myself to never waste time viewing the same title. Today I am going to be writing about a movie that I not only hated, but also did not bother to finish. The movie I am speaking of is Immortal, a sci-fi film originally released in France in 2004 that also found a U.S. release straight to DVD. The only reason I happened to discover this film is because a coworker of mine who shares my love of science fiction suggested it to me and gave me the DVD hoping to inspire me in my own writing. It actually took me several months before I worked up enough enthusiasm to give the movie a look, but about thirty minutes into watching it I actually realized why I couldn’t find the same excitement about it as he did. The plot seemed convoluted, the concept was hard to grasp, the special effects kind of overtook the acting, and the film was just way too cluttered.
I fell asleep in the first half hour of the movie and ended up just turning it off when I woke up halfway through it, subsequently adding it to my pile of movies to donate to the public library since I saw no reason to keep it in my own personal movie collection and didn’t have the heart to just give it back to my coworker after he offered it as a gift. Because I didn’t finish the film I can only summarize it so well. Basically, in the distant future, Earth is inhabited by humans, mutants, aliens and Egyptian gods. There is a pyramid floating over a city that I presumed to be New York. The Egyptian god Horus seeks a human vessel after he is wounded so that he can bear a child with a mortal woman for whatever reason. There are alien and cyborg assassins and there is a woman with blue hair who is apparently the love interest, but it’s kind of hard to follow what brings all of the characters together.
I learned a lot later that this movie is actually based on a graphic novel series called the Nikopol Trilogy written by French comic creator and film director Enki Bilal. I am assuming that the graphic novels must have been highly successful in France for a film to be produced, and given the moderate rating the film was given on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, it must have been very true to its source material, at least pleasing the comic fans. As a viewer who is completely unaware of the comics though, the film was hard to digest. The entire trilogy must have also been condensed into the single movie script which usually doesn’t work too well cinematically, especially for a story that obviously requires a ton of exposition and world building.
This film is only one film of a few I can recall that that I would have to give a “negative star” rating. While I could appreciate a film that tries to blend animation with live-action performances, the effects just didn’t work for this particular movie. As I said before, it was just so special effects heavy that any efforts by the actors was lost, so even though all of the actors were unknowns to me, I could really give no commentary on the talent they brought. I just couldn’t get into this movie, but Mr. Bilal has clearly earned his fan base. While this movie has plenty of elements of sci-fi and fantasy, I would encourage regular fans of the genres to just pass on this one, but the graphic novels might be worth a read though…