Odysseus & the Isle of Mists, Odysseus: Voyage to the Underworld (2008)
Directed by: Terry Ingram
Written by: Brook Durham, Kevin Leeson
Starring: Arnold Vosloo, JR Bourne, Michael Antonakos, Randal Edwards, Stefanie von Pfetten, Steve Bacic
ODYSSEUS: VOYAGE TO THE UNDERWORLD (2008)
Directed by Terry Ingram
King Odysseus, his loyal team of soldiers and scribe Homer are on their way home to Ithaca when they hear siren song and are attacked by huge, black winged creatures. Their ship smashes against the rocks, killing a few and leaving only five men alive. Odysseus, Homer, Eurylochus, Perimedes and Christos find themselves on the Isle of the Mists where the demonic creatures appear to live. Attacked once again by the creatures, they are saved from certain death from a siren who’s trapped on the Isle which was once a haven of such beauty. Promising to keep the creatures away in exchange for their help to escape the island, the siren forms an alliance with Odysseus and his men. However, Odysseus suspects the siren isn’t quite who she says she is…
After watching The Mummy on television a couple of weeks ago, I wondered where Arnold ‘Imhotep’ Vosloo had gone to and now 101 Films have answered that question. Trussed up in armour and leading a small band of soldiers, Vosloo stars as King Odysseus, responsible for the success of the battle of Troy and killing a cyclops according to the word of his men and eagerly penned by scribe Homer. His cunning is called upon once again when he and his men find themselves at the mercy of a siren who desperately wants to escape the dreaded Isle of the Mists but a visit from god Athena in his dream’s convinces Odysseus that the siren isn’t who she seems and that her plans could have devastating consequences.
Whilst the male cast, particularly Vosloo, put in a decent performance, the film unfortunately has very little going on and therefore becomes quite the snoozefest. It may have shades of the old Greek mythology films, such as Jason and the Argonauts, but the CGI winged creatures that are attacking the soldiers in this film are not a patch on Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion creations. They look rather like giant bats crossed with gargoyles, something which you’d find in a vampire movie. If they’d have been created using stop motion, I think they’d have had a better impact on the viewer and it would have made a nice homage to the films gone by.
The weakness of the film stems from the role of the siren. Although she’s the villain of the piece, she doesn’t seem quite the threat she’s meant to be and there doesn’t really seem a time that Odysseus or his men are out of their depth. A film like this relies on great danger to create tension and excitement, but it’s unfortunately missing. Coupled with a weak script, ODYSSEUS: VOYAGE TO THE UNDERWORLD isn’t the quite the action adventure movie you’re led to believe, especially when Homer supposedly left this journey out of his Odyssey due to the horrifying memory of it.
With a beefier script and screenplay and a meaner antagonist than what we are offered, ODYSSEUS: VOYAGE TO THE UNDERWORLD could have had real potential to be a solid modern Greek mythology B-movie worth watching but as it stands, it struggles to keep you awake.