Enki Bilal's IMMORTAL
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Next time someone says, “Yeah, Avatar was great, but the story sucked,” suggest this film instead. The story doesn’t suck.
Actually, the story is probably going to be incomprehensible to someone not familiar with the various sci-fi genres represented here, but that’s OK. There’s enough going on visually and concept-wise to keep anyone plenty busy.
It’s a future New York. Aliens live among us. Humans as a matter of course get all kinds of organ transplants to keep them going. Hanging over the city is a giant levitating pyramid occupied by the Monopoly-playing ancient gods of Egypt, one of whom decides to take flight and Walk/Fly Among Us. Meanwhile, a freshly grown human with white skin and blue features emerges to the consternation of medical authorities — she has no memories and her internal organs are all in the wrong place. She has a deep emotional relationship with a Mysterious Man In Black. Into all this falls (literally) a cryogenically preserved man who, upon awakening, has his body occupied by one of the aforementioned Egyptian gods.
That’s for starters. How it all plays out is an entertaining mix that constantly amazes with its mix of graphic comic elements and references that reminded me of sources as varied as Dark City, Sin City, Fifth Element, and AI: Artificial Intelligence — but with great originality and occasional flashes of humor.
The world represented here is a bit like the world I imagined while reading Richard Morgan’s science fiction novel Altered Carbon. Not a nice place to be, but well-imagined and, despite its fantasy, realistic enough to engage. Not bad for a film released in 2004!
Review copyright (c) 2010 by Dennis D. McDonald