Review: ‘Clash of the Titans’

Friday, April 2 by

Clash of the Titans
PG-13, 118m., 2010
Cast: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelson, Jason Fleming with Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Screenplay by Travis Becham, Phillip Hay, and Max Manfredi based upon 1981 screenplay by Beverly Cross

Clash of the Titans is 300 for 12-year-old boys: a fast paced Saturday morning cartoon on Greek mythology. Based upon a 1981 movie of the same name, Clash of the Titans tells of Perseus, the young half god/half human son of the God of the Heavens — Zeus — and his quest to behead the Snake Goddess Medusa in order to save the Greek city of Argos from destruction by his evil uncle, the God of the Underworld — Hades (played by Ralph Fiennes in yet another one of his demonic hissing roles) — and his giant sea monster The Kragen.

Joining Perseus on his journey through the river Styx and into Medusa’s layer are the stoic bad ass Draco (Bond villain Mads Mikkelson), the fiery oracle Lo (Bond girl Gemma Atherton) and the disfigured minion Calibos.

Sadly for those who enjoyed the original ’81 flick with all its Ray Harryhausen stop motion wizardry, the tin owl Bubo does have a cameo but is quickly put back in his cage for this journey.

Worthington as the forsaken demigod proves like he has in the past with Avatar and Terminator Salvation to be a good image for this day and age’s new action hero. On screen he has quick athletic instincts, can say a silly line like “Not on this planet you won’t!” or “Damn the Gods!” with ful conviction, and pull off a good running war cry like his hero and fellow Aussie actor, Mel Gibson.

Where Clash of the Titans falls on its sword is the 3D. The film was shot in standard 2D and at the last minute given the 3rd dimensional gimmick to pull in more money at the box office. The 3D glasses are more than anything a distraction as many of the action scenes are in standard play and only make your eyes strain as scorpions and snakes crawl on to the screen.

Another thing that will strike a blow to Greek Mythology purists in the audience are the wasting of other Olympic Gods, like Zeus’s brother, Poseidon (Danny Huston), who has but one line in the whole movie and makes you wonder if the rest of his performance was left on the cutting room floor or if the filmmakers’ hands were tied behind their backs. Last month’s kids-tailored Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightening Thief had stronger copyrights to the Gods of Olympus than this more mature swords and sandals epic.

While, Clash of the Titans may not appeal to the older more scholarly crowd, it does make its way up the river of Styx at least halfway before sinking into the Saturday morning matinée abyss.

Grade: C+