Friday, April 2, 2010

Film Review - Clash of the Titans

Writer: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi; from 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross
Director: Louis Leterrier
Producer: Basil Iwanyk and Kevin De La Noy
Cast: Sam Worthington, Alexa Davalos, Mads Mikkelsen, Gemma Arterton, Pete Postelthwaite, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson
Fantasy adventure, 1 hour 58 minutes

This was precisely the sort of retroactive 3D film I complained about previously where a movie was made in plain 2D but the studios jump on the 3D fad after the fact as a cash-grab. The movie itself is mildly entertaining but forgettable. The 3D doesn't help and actually makes it feel worse. Still it's the type of dumb blockbuster that usually does really well at the box office. The 3D gimmickry just ensures that it will rake in the bucks.

The original 1981 Clash of the Titans was nothing special either. It played fast and loose with Greek mythology and borrowed a monster from Norse mythology (the Kraken). It featured no Titans, the generation of gods that preceded the Olympians. They probably chose not to properly call them Olympians since modern viewers would likely associate that word with the Olympic games (which originated in the Greek city Olympia) rather than the gods of Mount Olympus. Even then, the gods don't clash so much as watch the demigod Perseus fight various monsters.

This remake simplifies the plot further boiling down the story to a fight between Zeus (Liam Neeson) and his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes, apparently reprising Voldemort). Zeus' son Perseus (Sam Worthington) has to find a way to defeat the Kraken on behalf of Zeus and thereby save the princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos).

It's probably just as well that they tightened the story but not a lot gets added to make up for it. The action scenes rely too heavily on CGI and aren't nearly as interesting as the animation and old school special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. Many of them are just a flashy and noisy messy, full of sound and fury signifying nothing too much like The Transformers movies. The CGI doesn't always look convincing either, especially with the character of Medusa. Seeing mediocre action scenes like these will make you appreciate Worthington's previous blockbuster Avatar all the more - it looked great and was exciting but you always knew what was happening no matter how chaotic it got.

As for the 3D, it was a distraction more than anything. If you must see this then save your money and see it in regular 2D. You'll actually enjoy it more that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment