CLASH OF THE TITANS
106 minutes approx
Written by -
Travis Beacham & Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Directed by -
When the foolish kng of Argos declares war on the Gods of Olympus, Perseus's adoptive family get caught in the crossfire. Rescued from the ocean as a baby, Perseus is a demi-god, son of Zeus, the King of the Gods. Hades, brother of Zeus and Lord of the Underworld, gives Argos one week before he unleashes the Kraken. In that week the inhabitants must decide whether to sacrifice their beloved princess, Andromeda, to the monster or face the utter destruction of the entire city. Perseus has just one week to find a way to kill the invincible Kraken. It's a quest that will take in hideous witches, deformed kings, flying horses, giant scorpions and a woman with snakes for hair.
In 1981, CLASH OF THE TITANS was the last film made by stop motion genius Ray Harryhausen and it is remembered with more fondness than it probably deserves. Back then, new special effects techniques ended his reign as fantasy supremo and CGI is the new special effects technique that has brought about this remake of his final hour (and a half). After all, anything stop motion can do, CGI can do better, right?
Actually, no. Whatever flaws the original had (that bloody mechanical owl Bobo for one) it possessed a certain warmth and charm. This Louis Leterrier directed version is as soulless as the computers that most of it was rendered in. This is mainly down to the charisma black hole at the heart of the movie. Sam Worthington (AVATAR and TERMINATOR SALVATION may be the action man du jour and he may be able to carry off the fashions of the period, but he completely fails to capture the empathy of the audience, locking them out of the emotional core of his quest, his need for revenge against the Gods and redemption for failing to save his family. Add into that the performance by Gemma Arterton that adds whole forests of woodeness to the production and the fact that there is absolutely zero chemistry between them and the human aspect of the movie is sadly missing.
Liam Neeson phones in his performance as the almighty Zeus (or whatever Gods use for phones) whilst Ralph Fiennes resorts to using leftover Voldemort hissing as Hades of the Underworld. Clearly neither of them thought the film was worth making the effort.
The CGI is, of course, excellent, but the camera twists and turns and cuts and generally moves so fast that there is very little chance of following what is happening during the action scenes. The standout, as in the original film, is the duel in the Medusa's lair, with Harryhausen's design work being kept. The Kraken, when it finally shows up, is impressive, but has very little screen time and simply cannot save the day.
CLASH OF THE TITANS in 2010 is big, even epic, in the scale of its vistas and its monsters, but it falls far short on every human level. The only noticeable improvement is that Bobo the mechanical owl only appears as an an in-joke.Top
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