April 7, 2010
Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson
Release Date: April 2, 2010
It’s All Greek to Me
Let me get this out of the way first: I have not seen the original Clash of the Titans. Because of this, I’m—obviously—unable to compare this remake with the 1980′s flick that so many people have fond memories of. I must also explain why I chose to experience the latest vehicle for now Hollywood commodity Sam Worthington the old fashioned way (which, of course, would be within the realm of the two dimensional). Knowing that most 3D endeavors are typically laden with the worst sort of filmmaking gimmicks, I wanted to give this one the chance to “wow” me without waving the tail of a giant scorpion in my face or having a larger-than-life Kracken tentacle bearing down on me as I inhaled popcorn.
So, how does this over-the-top tale of Greek gods and mythical beasts fare? Really well, when one considers the fact that it was meant to be nothing more than a B-movie set in a long-forgotten world that plays within its own set of clearly defined rules.
If someone enters Clash of the Titans expecting high art, then A) they haven’t seen a single one of the previews for the film, B) they’ve watched any one of the Lord of the Rings movies one too many times or C) they’ve somehow managed to snuff out their inner child. What we get here is essentially a watered down version of the God of War video game series: the character of Perseus isn’t nearly as well developed as the ash-covered anti-hero Kratos, but he’s infinitely more likable.
After watching his surrogate family perish at the hands of Hades, the demi-god (who’s the son of Zeus) seeks revenge on the overly malicious god of the underworld. As he encounters the citizens of Argos—a town that’s doomed because of it’s blatant refusal to worship the inhabitants of Mt. Olympus—Perseus’ motivations slowly shift toward the humane, and, after it’s all said and done, he does emerge an enlightened protagonist. The word “enlightened” should be taken with many grains of salt, though, as this is character development of the most barebones variety. Titans is a movie that, despite its gargantuan scope, is strangely episodic in nature. Depending on your expectations, this is either a good thing or a bad thing, but, given the implicit nature of the movie, I found it to be entirely appropriate.
As one would imagine, this doesn’t meant that Titans is entirely without fault. It does become a little tedious to watch Perseus hurl himself from one exotic/mysterious locale to another, and we hardly get to know any of his companions before they’re impaled, dismembered, or turned to stone. And at 106 minutes, the movie feels like it ends prematurely (there’s also the long-anticipated confrontation with the oft-alluded to “monster of epic proportions,” which, like a number of other scenes, is over far too quickly).
Still, this is a movie that’s all about temporarily excusing reality and soaking up some beautifully crafted eye candy. In that regard, Clash of the Titans is just the sort of light-hearted fluff that most moviegoers are able to appreciate.
out of 5
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.
Check out a trailer for Clash of the Titans: