Notable Actors: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen
Review: Here we have it folks, the first big “blockbuster” of the year. Being a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, I would rather rate this movie based on how it stands alone, instead of comparing how it follows the story line of the first. This is because I don’t feel a remake should be a shot for shot duplicate of the original; I feel like a remake is a new take on an old story and how the current director conveys his re-imagining of the original. I’m not going to have a problem if you decide to change things up plot wise. Whether it’s done well or not though, that’s where I’m going to have a problem. The huge difference in the two films is obviously the use of CGI and 3-D technology compared to the old stop-motion monsters of the original. This new version was supposed to blow us out of the water with visuals and have some sort of realism the original lacked. Too bad I didn’t even waste my time on the 3-D because of so much negative word of mouth about how it isn’t worth the money in the least bit. Clash of the Titans wasn’t filmed in 3-D like the highly successful Avatar. Instead they converted it to 3-D in the post production, and we get a second-rate 3-D where you can barely even make out some of the effects and there are even minor problems with layering and such. And the CGI? Yea it was cool, but honestly almost too computer generated. It lacked realism visually in my opinion, (yes I’m aware it’s a fictional tale but it can still look real) and proves that maybe sometimes you have to realize boasting the newest technologies isn’t enough to carry a movie.
Clash of the Titans is a classic story of man vs. the gods, as the city of Argos calls out the residents of Mount Olympus. But the mere mortals quickly learn what a terrible idea this is not only because the gods were the ones to give them life, but the god’s strength also depends on the prayers of their mortal creations (except for poor Hades (Fiennes), ruler of the underworld whose strength comes from fear). This gives the gods, led by Zeus (Neeson), motivation to fight back and put them in their place by informing the city in ten days Hades will release the Kraken to destroy the town unless the beautiful Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) is sacrificed. The King has bigger ideas, because a man found floating in the water had been brought to their city, and it isn’t soon before it’s revealed the man called Perseus (Worthington) is a demi-god himself. And with a vendetta against the gods, Perseus proves to be a perfect candidate to lead an attack against the gods who want to destroy them. But when Perseus starts getting some unexpected help from his father, Zeus, it is revealed Hades himself is trying to take over Olympus for himself and become supreme ruler. It’s up to Perseus and his band of soldiers to figure a way to stop the gods and defeat the many obstacles that stand in their way.
It’s a pretty straight forward tale of Greek mythology, but don’t expect to get a faithful correlation between the movie and how the real stories of the characters in true Greek mythology are told. For example, the Kraken doesn’t even exist in Greek mythology. It’s from Scandinavian folklore. (I found that tidbit online, I didn’t even know that.) But hey, it’s a movie so I’m able to let things like this go. If it makes for a truly entertaining experience, I’m able to let that go for the sake of the movie. If you are a huge Greek mythology buff though and are going in for your love of the subject, you’re going to have a problem with a ton of the continuity errors between the classic telling and the tellings in the movie. Also, for those people actually wanting to see the same story as the 1981 version just with newer effects, sadly you shouldn’t even bother. They totally revamped the plot and went in totally different directions with the characters. For example, characters like Poseidon, Ammon, Thetis, and Hera don’t even appear in this film while Hades, Draco, and Io, who did not appear in the original version, are main characters in Leterrier’s new version. In fact, pretty much the only things that remained the same were the three main battles between the scorpions, Medusa, and the Kraken. Otherwise, you’ve got new characters, new story lines, and a ton of new directions that don’t always come together. Don’t fret though. Die hard fans will rejoice hearing the beloved mechanical owl Bubo from the original makes an appearance in the new version also. Fans will rejoice until they see his cameo that is, as he is on and off the screen quicker than the freakin’ Kraken. I feel like Leterrier threw him in the movie basically to say “Hey! Look at this! It was in the original! And this is as close as you’ll get to any resemblance of the original bitches!”
My main complaint came from how quickly the final battle with the Kraken was and how sadly un-epic it was. The Kraken was the bringer of death, a mighty beast that the gods feared themselves. Yet Perseus was able to make quicker work of the Kraken then it took him to kill even one of those stupid scorpions he battled in the beginning. Then Hades shows up all pissed off because Perseus destroyed his prized possession, and again all it takes is one swift movement to send Ralph Fiennes back to hell. I mean at least give us something to watch, make us think for a minute Perseus might actually fail, toy with us a bit and let us have a little tension at the end. Let Hades back Perseus into a corner, only for him find some ridiculous way out ultimately saving the day. I would have been fine with that, even though that’s how most of these epic adventures end. But no. We get Perseus flying in and finishing the battle quicker than it took me to get up and walk out of the theater.
The acting was nothing special in my opinion, but I didn’t have as much of a problem with Worthington as others did. I felt like he commanded the screen well enough, even though it wasn’t the best. The supporting cast was killed off with little or no emotional reactions, more in a way of just tying up some plot points. All the gods were cast well, and Liam Neeson just looked like the perfect Zeus even though he was wearing something that looked like a crappy 80’s disco trend. The action scenes were entertaining at times but at others felt a little rushed, like Medusa’s scene. A bunch of people died, but there was barely any action happening.
It also felt too force-fed with the help Perseus got from the gods, amounting to nothing but Perseus finding a sword on the ground and Draco walking up and saying “it’s a gift from the gods.” Well duh, if it only works for Perseus who is a DEMI-GOD. And oh look a black Pegasus just flew right to you from out of nowhere! And again good old Draco “it’s a gift from the gods.” Thanks big guy, because a Pegasus picking a rider is a normal occurrence. The plot just felt too spoon-fed overall, and the narration/characters were just stating the obvious.
I wouldn’t call this movie a total bust, but it suffers a fate just as bad: it was forgettable. At least the original can live on as a cult classic with its campy stop motion and mythical themes. This version just falls to the way side, into a pile of other action/adventures that just didn’t strike as anything special. And let this also be a lesson to the 3-D trend going on. If it isn’t done right, word will get out and people will avoid it. Just like me. I wasn’t wasting the extra money just for the “3-D experience.” I’m perfectly fine seeing your sub-par movie in 2-D, because your 3-D has nothing to offer. What else do I have to say about Clash of the Titans? Sadly, nothing.
Final Rating: 5.5 disco clad gods out of 10