“Greek Mythology” (?) in The Immortals

Borrowed from moviefanatic.com

I do have a soft spot for ancient mythological fiction, which is why I chose to see this movie. I’m not all that familiar with Theseus’ story, either, and I’m by no means an expert on ancient Greece. So I figured the mistakes in this movie wouldn’t stand out too much for me.

I never learn.

So this movie was apparently about the hero Theseus stopping a king from unleashing the titans (the enemies of the gods) and destroying the gods. Speaking of the gods, Zeus ( their king) refuses to let any of the gods deal with the problem himself, because he’s got some kind of non-interference policy going with the mortals.

Non-interference? We’re talking about Zeus, right?

I could talk about the movie as a movie, but to be honest, there isn’t much to say. It was okay, I guess. Kinda like the other 300-esque movies capitalizing on ancient badasses. None of the characters stood out. Not all of the plot points made sense. The earlier action scenes were kind of interesting, at least compared to 300. That’s all I got.

So I’ll talk about how this story related to some of the basics of what I know about Greek mythology and culture. In general, inaccuracies in a good movie won’t stop me from liking a genuinely good movie–like Braveheart. But in this case, the stories that the movie was based on were watered down–made less complex and more boring. I’m not sure why. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Borrowed from classics-archaeology.unimelb.edu.au

But anyway, here are a couple of things. Feel free to let me know if I got anything wrong, or missed anything. Also, beware of spoilers.

1. Where was Zeus’ beard? No really, I want to know.

2. Three people in this movie stated that they didn’t care about worshipping the gods because the gods didn’t answer their prayers when they were going through rough times, or something like that. This feels like a weird reason to rebel against the Greek pantheon, since it might just make them angry. Especially when a king does it.

3. I know little about military tactics. But sending your massively larger army through a small tunnel to meet the enemy will drastically reduce the effectiveness of your overwhelming forces. You can only fit so many people into that tunnel at once, after all.

4. Why is everyone being so disrespectful to the oracle? And why is she not getting offended? Maybe I could believe it if one of those characters who didn’t worship the gods treated her that way, but only if she reacted appropriately to the comments.

5. When I hear the name Theseus, I expect a labyrinth and a real minotaur. And I expect to see some cleverness. I’m not sure why this oracle is in the story or what happened to Ariadne, the woman who told Theseus how to navigate the labyrinth in the first place. I guess Ariadne was unnecessary since there was no labyrinth. Not that the oracle was necessary in this movie, or anything.

What’s worse is that they appear to have actually done at least some kind of research, as they included the Brazen Bull. I don’t know what to make of that.


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3 Responses to “Greek Mythology” (?) in The Immortals

  1. trophos says:

    You know, I actually enjoyed this movie. I thought they did some clever things, like making the Minotaur into that masked villain guy, and having their fight be staged in an underground, cavernous, dare-I-say labyrinth-like space. They absolutely took a lot of liberties, but where people make changes to the originals always interests me, since it reveals something both about how they understand the original and what they think of their own cultural landscape.

    Anyway, I’ll spare you – it was certainly not a great film, just fun for what it was. Also, your point (3)? That probably annoyed me more than anything else in the whole movie.

    • Marie Erving says:

      To each their own, of course. I didn’t actually realize that the guy in the minotaur mask was supposed to be the Minotaur until the end, though. I kept waiting for him to show up.

  2. Psycho Gecko says:

    Maybe they thought all Oracles were supposed to be like poor cursed Cassandra.

    Got to say I agree about not worshipping the gods. I’m an atheist, but in a world where gods exist (and one is the mother of a guy you’re probably talking to) then maybe you ought to not piss them off. The Greek gods were never into anything so quaint as “an eye for an eye”.

    After all, if you saw a virgin goddess bathing nude, it would likely be the last thing you saw due to the blinding about to occur.

    And Zeus is about as non-interventionist as Captain Kirk, usually in the same way.

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