The Immortals (1995)

Nightclub owner Jack invites eight criminals with a proposal to rob some offices of a real estate shark on Halloween. The invitees get paired into four unequal pairs (a homophobic and a gay person, a racist and a black person etc.). The heist proceeds more or less successful, but is only part of Jack’s double-crossing scheme. And every protagonist has a sad secret, which, when revealed forges a bond between them, and makes them fight together for survival as things go south.

The Immortals can be considered to be a lower-grade version of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, that came out a few years earlier. The premises are similar, a bunch of gangsters getting together for a heist that does not go completely as planned, with a lot of smart-ass dialogues and stylish gunplay. While The Immortals certainly is not able to surpass Tarantino’s original, it makes for are more than decent clone.

Produced by the NuImage film company, that gave us 90s Sci-Fi junk gems such as Cyborg Cop and Shadowchaser, The Immortals was one of their first movies that rose above the C-grade quality of their previous outputs. Now going under the name Millenium Films, the company has managed to attain a reputation for A-grade action movies such as The Expendables Series and Olympus Has Fallen. Not too bad of a development for them, I’d say.

The cast is composed of a number of actors that have starred both in A and B grade movies throughout their career (Eric Roberts, Tia Carrere, Joe Pantolioano). Performances are slightly overacted, but that only adds to the high-intensity vibe of the movie. Chris Rock, at a relatively early stage of his movie career, is also in it, and plays basically himself, or at least the same character he has become famous for. It doesn’t take long into the movie before the action kicks in. Most scenes are shot indoors with the action delivered through extended shootouts that are well staged. There is a funny Mexican standoff in the middle, which can be taken as another slightly overplayed reference to Reservoir Dogs. There’s certainly a lot more action in The Immortals than in Reservoir Dogs, though, and it’s is delivered at a relentless pace. Dialogues are sometimes trying a bit too hard to be cool, but there’s a lot of funny lines, so no complaints here either.

The ultimate premise of the movie that is eventually revealed is very artifical, as is the assembly of the characters which are fairly one-dimensional. Despite this, I actually started to care for them and their fates towards the end. The Immortals is a fine movie with a decent performance by the ensemble cast, a lot of gunfire and blood, and a good sense of humor.

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