Apr 14 2010 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Clash of the Titans
CLASH of the Titans tells the story of a war between man and gods in ancient Greece.
Perseus (Sam Worthington) is a demigod and the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) who seeks revenge on the god who killed his family, Zeus’ brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes).
Clash of the Titans is a ‘re-imagining’ of Desmond Davis’ 1981 film of the same name. The original is famous for Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion model animation and you get the feeling the main motivation for this remake is to show off ‘greater’ visual effects.
It’s all very grand looking, with wide open seas and dizzying views, but quite uninvolving. Character development and story don’t take a back seat ... they don’t even have a chair.
Director Louis Leterrier brought us the entertaining but effects-heavy The Incredible Hulk last year and doesn’t seem to have progressed much at all with his second blockbuster.
He has a wealth of acting talent at his disposal but they are forced to utter clunky dialogue, of which there is too much, and buried beneath some dodgy costumes and make-up.
Worthington is riding on the crest of a wave after last year’s breakout roles in Avatar and Terminator Salvation. He’s been watchable, soulful but a little bland so far and isn’t suited to his leading action man role here. He’s clearly uncomfortable during his ‘into battle’ speech.
The sight of acting heavyweights Neeson (shouty) and Fiennes (hoarse) wearing ‘guyliner’ is a far cry from their powerhouse work together in Schindler’s List. I hope their pay cheques had a lot of zeroes on them.
Brit Bond girl Gemma Arterton (Io) is pretty but a bit monotone. The best characters are Mads Mikkelsen’s Draco, a better leader-type than Perseus, and Liam Cunningham’s Solon, providing some laughs.
Some of the special effects are undeniably impressive. The monstrous Kraken causes havoc and a scorpion battle in the desert is the best thing in the film.
Other visuals are pretty poor. Medusa does plenty of damage but looks ridiculous, the Djinn characters are like bad aliens from a cheap sci-fi film and the gods’ armour makes them look like heads bobbing along on top of bad green screen work.
It lifts things from other, better, films too. The witches, who by the way utter a ‘prophecy’ involving Perseus that is totally irrelevant, are like a lesser version of the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, the Kraken a bigger take on the Rancor from Return of the Jedi, and Perseus’ ‘army’ on a quest is pure Fellowship of the Ring.
Safe to say then that Clash of the Titans doesn’t fall into the epic category it aims for. There’s plenty of spectacle and I’ve seen worse but it’s not even a great ‘popcorn movie.’
Swords and sandals clash with big budget and dodgy CGI... and the final outcome is a bit of a mess.
Rating - 5 out of 10.