April 2, 2010
Review - " Clash of the Titans " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to Critics@deltafilms.net
Clash of the Titans
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton,
Pete Postlethwaite, Alexa Davalos
Nearly 30 years after the original Clash of the Titans, the 2010 remake falls
flat. Modern special effects aren’t utilized to their full potential, and even
though this movie tries poking fun at its precursor with an awkward, forced
nod to the animatronics used in the original, the remake’s special effects
don’t stand up to other films in the action genre.
Don’t bother spending the extra few bucks to see a 3D Perseus, Avatar star
Sam Worthington, or Zeus, Liam Neeson (looking like a lost extra from The
Lord of the Rings trilogy) at odds in this mythological mess. It appears as if
the 3D effects were more of an afterthought, one that makes the action
sequences a nauseating blur of bodies and CGI.
The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus, played by
Sam Worthington (Avatar). If it’s been a while since Mythology 101, don’t
worry; this movie gives a 30-second backstory to set up the poorly
executed plot. The angry gods are tired of humans not paying respect, and
Perseus, the son of Zeus, resentful of his demigod status, wants revenge
for the killing of his mortal family by Hades (Ralph Fiennes). He sets off on a
mission to save the city of Argos, a place the audience knows nothing about
except that the king and queen are arrogant, and the princess, Andromeda,
is in danger (go figure, a manly man off to rescue a damsel in distress).
With a mismatched crew of soldiers, bumbling helpers and Perseus’ immortal guardian angel Io (Gemma Arterton), Perseus
fights giant scorpions and the disfigured crony of Hades in order to behead Medusa and hopefully use his newly acquired
weapon to save Andromeda.
If that sounds silly and cliched, that’s because it is. There is no serious attempt to make Clash of the Titans even a remotely
believable film. It feels like the makers decided that this was an impossible task, and instead went down the full-blown,
technology-driven action route.
The result is a pretty exciting experience, albeit one you cannot really feel fully engaged in because of the campness, the
laughable dialogue, and the lack of character development. To be fair, they did try to inject a bit more like into the central
characters, but the effect was so poor that it became humorous, and only wasted valuable time that could have been spent
on more action. Speaking of action, I would have liked to have seen less quick cuts and more wide shots, but for the most
part it passed the grade.
The special effects were great, but not exceptional by today’s high standards, and the 3D added a little extra, but to be
honest not a whole lot more. I don’t think I would have regretted it had I watched it in plain old 2D.
Sam Worthington, Hollywood’s next big thing, seemed like he had plenty of fun. There are no pretensions in his
performance because he knows it’s all about the action. He still lacks the “superstar aura” that Russell Crowe has, but
maybe he’ll get there some day. It was great to see Liam Neeson playing Zeus, and especially Lord Voldemort himself,
Ralph Fiennes, playing the King of the Underworld, Hades. Both inject star power without diverting attention away from the
rest of the cast. They even got Pete Postlethwaite to play Spyros, Perseus’ adopted father! My only complaint was probably
Gemma Aterton’s Io, who was just plain weird.
Directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk 2008 version), this action packed film lacks the character development to
really make anyone care about the people being killed left and right, and the lackluster special effects hold this film back. So
Clash of the Titans is unlikely to be
remembered as a classic. There
are plenty of things wrong with it.
It’s silly and cheesy and lacks heart.
But for those who like Greek
mythology, monsters, sword-wielding
action, and don’t need things to be
taken too seriously, Clash of the
Titans is a fun, exciting popcorn
movie for the majority of its
118-minute running time.