IMMORTEL
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E.C.McMullen Jr.
Immortel
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IMMORTEL
STREAMING MOVIE
IMMORTEL (Ad Vitam) - 2004
TF1 Films Productions / CiBy 2000 / RF2K Productions
Rated: France: U / Germany, Switzerland: 12 / Netherlands: 16 / Singapore: M18 / USA: R

Okay, now this movie is a fun but complicated romp so let's see how much I can explain in as few words as possible. Ready? Here we go!

French Graphic artist and writer, Enki Bilal brought his excellent series, NIKOPOL to the screen with his film, IMMORTEL. The film involves the following storyline -

(breath of air)

Immortel Pyramid
THE LEADERS OF NEW YORK CITY HAVE NO IDEA WHO OR WHAT IS IN THE FLOATING ALIEN PYRAMID, BUT THEY TRY TO GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT.

IMMORTEL begins with a woman who has inhuman powers being imprisoned on what appears to be a slave ship. The slave ship is from a company called Eugenics and flies through the air.

Speaking of air, there is a bright day sky lighting the city of New York in 2090. Speaking of 2090, a massive pyramid floats in the air, not surprising anyone in this future age, but certainly giving them pause.

(breath of air)

The pyramid contains a group of highly technologically advanced life forms who call themselves Gods. They believe they created us so who knows? But one of them, Horus (Thomas M. Pollard: FRANTIC, DEMON LOVER), has made his fellow immortals sick to the teeth with his antics. Sooo mad are they that they've decided that he can't go through whatever it is they go through to remain immortal. Instead, Horus has seven days before he buys the farm, so he is allowed one last visit to earth.

Horus, dog, and kitty
THE DECAYING HORUS WAKES FROM CRYOSLEEP TO BE GRANTED HIS LAST WISH.

(breath of air)

In 2090, artificial biological replacement parts for humans is so advanced that losing your arm and getting it replaced with a living artificial biological model, that is even better than your original, is strictly an outpatient deal. However, it does change your biological makeup somewhat, as well as your metabolism, and it also ... hey, everything is a tradeoff! But it doesn't make life easy for Horus because ...

(breath of air)

When Horus created women lo those many years ago, he was already an asshole and not particularly well-liked by his fellow gods. In short, he had his future in mind. If he someday screwed the pooch with his fellow immortals, and found himself in his current situation, he could inhabit a human male's body and impregnate a human female with himself, resulting baby would be born immortal. What Horus didn't count on was technological advances from the primitive people he created and future artificial body modifications. Whether necessary, fashion, or for luxury, mods change the human body so much Horus can't inhabit them for long without gruesome issues.

(breath of air)

Meanwhile, an air floating prison craft has its own problems when a glitch and a short make several prison pods fall to the earth. From out of one of them dangles the surviving body of political prisoner, Alcide Nikopol (Thomas Kretschmann: THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, BLADE II, RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE). Niko lost his leg in the crash, but otherwise he is the perfect shell for Horus.

(breath of air)

Horus & humans
HAVING FORCED NIKOPOL TO RAPE AND INSEMINATE JILL, HORUS LEAVES THE HUMAN BODY.

Meanwhile, There is a serial killer on the loose that the police are investigating. Particularly Detective Froebe (Yann Collette), who lost a large chunk of his head to one of the last of an alien race called Dyzaks. Unfortunately for Det. Froebe, his artificial transplants are government regulation issue and appear entirely utilitarian instead of either realistic or fashionable. Froebe is convinced that, somehow, some way, the killer has got to be one of those god damn Dyzaks!

Nobody realizes that the serial killer is none other than Horus, who accidentally killed those men when their modified bodies rejected his godly presence within them.

Shit! The only reason humans were created was for this one thing! Who knew they were going to get technologically advanced? And aren't there any unmodified human men anymore?

(breath of air)

Also,

There is Senator Checker (Olivier Achard), who has many skeletons in his closet and all of them are known by the company, Eugenics, which owns him and controls him through another pawn of theirs, Lili Liang (Corinne Jaber).

So there is a serial killer on the loose: someone is killing cops; an alien pyramid hangs over the New York skyline, and on top of everything else, the long-lost hero of the rebellion and the darkest secret Senator Checker has, Alcide Nikopol, has escaped prison and disappeared!

And finally, even though the graphic novels were all about Nikopol, this movie is really about Jill (Linda Hardy). Jill is the woman from the slave ship. She is rescued by Dr. Elma Turner (Charlotte Rampling: ASYLUM, FLESH OF THE ORCHID, ORCA, ANGEL HEART, SUPERSTITION) who discovers that the human appearing woman is not a human at all. The doctor, who is experienced with humans, mutants, humans who've had their bodies modified, and even a few true aliens, is stunned by the mystery of Jill. Jill is neither alien or human or even has the internal organs to work in any capacity on earth. What's more, by the second, Jill is changing and becoming human.

Jill agrees to let the doctor study her, but also makes time to spend with a mysterious character she calls John. John assures her that she is indeed becoming human, even though she really isn't a part of this universe at all.

(breath of air)

First off- what a massive undertaking of a unique and exciting concept! There's a million stories in the naked city and Enki is about to intertwine them all into one enormous crash!

However -

Okay, while I found the acting and dialogue below dinner theater standards (your fault Enki - we know these actors are all much better), I loved the concept, the story, the pace, and above all, the look. The special effects knock the hell out of anything seen in FINAL FANTASY, SKY CAPTAIN and the WORLD OF TOMORROW, KAENA, or, for that matter, CASSHERN, which had a great trailer but was a really lousy, lost and meandering film.

Now normally I don't give a squat about the special effects if the movie sucks - but the movie didn't suck. The story was involved and complicated, yet while it came close to confusion, it didn't fall over the edge into an anticipated mess. And what with the complicated plot and all of the many subplots - and all without exposition, mind you - the end of the movie ties together nicely. The dirty, dystopian feel of IMMORTEL is offset by its retro futuristic architecture, the 1950s style futuristic flying cars, the mostly daytime shots (noir story without the cliche noir trappings!), and a pace that is often breathtaking.

Many great ideas are thrown out at the viewer and I've not felt such a rush from a movie since I saw THE MATRIX.

The WOW factor in this movie is hot. IMMORTEL blows away all past attempts at adult animation of the past 10 years, from FINAL FANTASY to HEAVY METAL 2000.

IMMORTEL rocks!

4 Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2005 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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