The Immortal Wars
The Immortal Wars 2018
One thing I don’t talk about too much on here is my local library. Ever since video rental stores have all but died out (there is a Family Video nearby but we don’t go there), aside from streaming I source most of the movies I watch for this site lately from my library. This is not the first time that I happened across a movie at that library that I had never heard of before but I could tell from the cover and back of the box that it was a perfect fit for this site. This is a combination of X-Men, Hunger Games, and a little bit of Gladiator, only the weakest bits of all of those movies along with some poor special effects, weak acting, and a bland script. It’s not quite Captain Battle level bad movie, but it’s right alongside some of the Asylum films that I’ve seen and I’m actually a little surprised that the sequel is already being made for a planned trilogy.
This movie takes place in the future where everything is seemingly dark and/or on fire with generic flame effects and/or random embers floating across the screen at all times. This future is a dystopian wasteland where there are superhuman beings called deviants and/or scrags that are rounded up for an annual and/or regular televised series of fights to the death. These fights are highly rated and often bet upon. The difficulty comes through the fact that nearly all of the backstory and setup for this world is given through expository dialogue that’s difficult to wade through and/or easy to miss which makes much of the rest of the plot hard to follow and/or be interested in.
The main character more or less is Trikalypse who has various powers including super strength and telekinesis. Most of her dialogue is when her and various other deviants are holed up in a series of prison cells that look like a hallway with doors made out of light-up prison bar doors. She doesn’t have much backstory or personality as she plots with the hotheaded woman who can control fire and apparently knows everything about this televised event. She has a little bit more backstory, but it’s generally told through just a quick bit of dialogue.
There are plenty of issues with this film, a couple of them are the acting and writing. It’s difficult to really sell dialogue that’s really bad like when two characters are fighting and one says “I’m stronger than you” and the other replies “No, I’m stronger.” And besides gripping fight dialogue of that caliber, it’s just as difficult to spit out pages of random exposition that’s supposed to fill in the background of this future world and televised gladiatorial event. One of the other combatants is supposed to elicit a sense of empathy as they are presented as a father/daughter pair where the father is a big brute of a man and the daughter is a young child who supposedly has psychic powers that are supposed to help him fight somehow. Instead it boils down to her telepathically telling her dad to choke the guy harder, but instead he releases the guy and ends up getting killed.
Even if the acting and writing weren’t so bad, it could be saved through the action. Unfortunately, while the majority of the actors seem like they have martial arts training, the filmmakers aren’t able to use dynamic choreography to make the fights exciting, nor do they use any interesting camera angles or editing to liven up the fights. Instead, they are typically overly short battles with occasional bursts of cheap special effect bursts of color that’s supposed to signify the deviant’s super powers but instead looks more like handfuls of colored powder. Not only that, but it rarely even seems to affect the battle in any significant way. There’s never really any clear indication of what exactly the combatants powers are or what they do aside from an early moment where they are all listed through on a statistics screen during an explanation from Eric Roberts’ MC Dominion in an unclear role as television producer, evil mastermind, and high stakes bookie with a pair of headphones used as a chin guard in a way that’s unclear as to whether it’s supposed to make him look like a supervillain or a futuristic microphone.
There is just so much wrong with this film that it’s hard to go through all of them. From the wooden acting, the boring fight choreography, the boring exposition, the poor and overused special effects, and uninspired cinematography. It all adds up to a very disappointing film. There are touches here and there of interesting moments where it seemed like they were trying for an interesting visual, and there were a small handful of special effects that actually looked like significant effort was put into them. But that was all too few and far between. Even with the help of semi-recognizable working actors like Eric Roberts and Tom Sizemore, there just wasn’t enough to work with to make this a good movie. And almost as bad, it also never made its way around the bend to become a so-bad-it’s-good movie either. Nobody in this film was completely incompetent, they just weren’t very good. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.