Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Movie Review: Immortal (Immortel ad vitam)

Immortal (2004) (Immortel ad vitam) 
Téléma, TF1 Films Production, CiBy 2000, RF2K Productions, Force Majeure Productions, Medusa Film, TPS Star, Cofimage 13, Natexis Banques Populaires Images 2, Sofica Valor 6 France, Italy, UK, 2004. 

Based on Enki Bilal's Nikopol Trilogy comic books. 

Flying Egyptian pyramid has parked in the sky of NYC. God Horus has apparently been naughty as the other gods strip him of his immortality. He has one week to finish his business and then: "You're fired!" Corrupt Senator Allgood (Joe Sheridan) supports evil medical corporation Eugenics that is conducting experiments on space aliens who pop out from the gateway in Central Park. Inspector Froebe (Yann Collette) is inspecting serial murders where the victims suddenly explode. 
Just a normal day in NYC
Linda Hardy
The law enforcement keeps their prisoners deep-frozen. A part of the prison falls down and Horus saves rebel leader Nikopol (Thomas Kretschmann) as he wants to use Nikopol as a puppet for his own purposes. Nikopol sees that the world has changed but the spirit of rebellion that he started still lives on. Alien girl Jill (Linda Hardy) has lost her memory and Dr. Elma Turner (Charlotte Rampling) finds her physiology interesting. Horus needs an offspring and he also finds Jill's physiology interesting. Nikopol is not happy about his role in the ménage à trois. Eugenics sends also Hammerhead/human hybrid assassins to join the game. And then there is a mythical Charon-like figure John (Frédéric Pierrot) who is not bringing souls to the Underworld but bringing important aliens to Earth. 
Charlotte Rampling
Dr. Elma Turner
Thomas Kretschmann
Yann Collette
Horus as a god is all-powerful the humans are just pawns in his game. The gods have also a weird sense of humour. However in the end as his immortality is nearing its end it almost seems that even he has learned something about humanity.

The movie has a cool but strange visual style mixing CGI-animated characters and human actors, being more of an animation than live action. Only Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann and Charlotte Rampling are not animated. It takes a bit time to get accustomed to the fully CGI-rendered characters. I guess it looks like it does because it tries to show the humans that have biomechanically altered are meant to look fake while the unmodified humans look real. Mythology, Tarkovsky and Baudelaire references. The flying taxicabs seem to be common in French scifi, so "The Fifth Element" seems to owe a lot to Bilal's original comics. The story has more in common with Japanese anime and Mamoru Oshii's films than Hollywood scifi. Although there is some action it is quite heavy in philosophy and symbolism. However the movie looks at times too synthetic and the visual style takes the front seat. Some plot elements are left vague and for example Allgood's presence in the story does not have much other point than him being a general nuisance. Not all the side plots have a satisfying conclusion and questions remain open. Probably I have to get the original comic to see how different it is compared to the film. Not perfect but fascinating to watch and recommended for friends of smarter scifi.
Too much plastic surgery makes you look like Lili and Allgood
Bartender in 2095

Rating: Good

Starring: Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann, Charlotte Rampling, Yann Collette, Frédéric Pierrot, Thomas M. Pollard, Joe Sheridan, Corinne Jaber, Olivier Achard, Jerry Di Giacomo, Dominique Mahut, Gary Cowan, Augustin Legrand, Javon Constantin, Owen Steketee, Joel Mitchell, Shush Tenin, Vanessa Hope, Charles Maquignon, Derrick Brenner, Rhonda Constantin, Tony Vanaria, David Gasman, Thierry René, Jacquelyn Toman, Eddie Crew, Mark Reed, Rochelle Redfield, Max Delor, Barbara Scaff, Dominic Gould, Geoffrey Carey, Allan Wenger, Paul Bandey, Coralie Seyrig, Goran Vejvoda, Helen Later, Paul Barrett, Leslie Clack, Lemmy Constantine, Robert Dauney, Geoffrey Greenhill, Irene Palko, Féodor Atkine, Jacques Bonnaffé, Patrice Bornand, Géraldine Bourgue, Bernard Brieux, Pierre-Jean Chérer, Anne-Laure Delpech, Nathalie Lacroix, Pierre Laplace, Lucienne Legrand, Marine Logier, Françoise Lorente, Michael Ozanon, Alexis Perret, Christophe Ratandra, Christophe Raymond, Philippe Risler, Jean-Claude Sachot, Christopher Thompson, Jean-Louis Trintignant 
Director: Enki Bilal


  1. Enki Bilal oli minulle etenkin yläasteaikoina Jumalasta seuraava tai jotain ja kun tämä Immortal tuli olivat odotukseni sitä kohtaan hyvin korkealla. Putosin, kovaa ja korkealta. Ihan kauhea elokuva. Kömpelö, tekotaiteellinen, ruma.
    Sittemmin olen kyllä huomannut useamman ihan fiksuan pitämäni ihmisen kehuvan Immortalia, joten olen alkanut miettimään että tuomitsinkohan sen liian jyrkästi vain korkeiden odotuksien vuoksi. Tai ehkä vain kaikki muut ovat väärässä. Olen siis harkinnut uusintakatselua ja elokuvasta kirjoittamista.

    1. Voihan se olla että paranee uusintakatselulla, tai sitten puutteet näkyvät vielä selvemmin. Vaan erikoinen leffa se ainakin oli ja täytyy etsiä jostain Bilalia luettavaksi.


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