If you saw the trailers for Clash of the Titans, you’ve seen the whole film.
No, seriously. There’s nothing in this 3D remake that wasn’t already revealed through the countless previews, TV spots, and flash-advertisements that graced websites for days leading up to the movie’s release.
In fact, one might be inclined to argue that the previews themselves were better than the feature.
They were certainly shorter.
This new take on Perseus’s quest for vengeance against the gods possesses none of the self-awareness of the 1981 original – that film was cheesy, and proud of it. The new Clash, as directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) is Gladiator meets 300, but has neither the dramatic gravitas of the former nor the hyperbolic bloodiness of the latter.
It’s about as serious as a heart attack – and just as much fun.
One of the many problems is the film has an identity crisis. It doesn’t know whether it’s a sword-and-sandals epic, a Grecian tale of honor, or a creature feature.
Sam Worthington, as Perseus, has the growl and furrowed look of Russel Crowe, but is given a barebones script to work with. Heroes come and go on screen, without any dramatic heft, and therefore no reason for us to care about their motives. The one character who understands our pain – he seeks out horribly awkward moments and makes quips accordingly – is dispatched of so fast that we don’t even know he’s died until we realize the film has started to suck even more.
Like the others he simply exists, and barely at that, to be killed later in the narrative.
That is of course unless we’re talking about gods, in which case their purpose is to glow or appear incorporeally. This includes Zeus (played by Liam Neeson, apparently hungry for a paycheck), who appears to have been beaten with a glossy stick, and Hades (Ralph Fiennes), a balding, long-haired menace who speaks with an annoyingly asthmatic rasp.
Both speak of honor and justice as if they were actually in the film, and proceed to leave nary a cliched line unspoken. “Somebody has to make a stand!” demands one of the characters. “You’re not just part man, part god. You’re the best of both!” declares another.
It would all make for great camp if the action was at least memorable, but even the fight scenes are boring, with not an ounce of creativity to be found anywhere. Perseus emerges from inside a giant bug-like creature (just like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black) and chases down a prize on a flying beast (just like Harry Potter in The Goblet of Fire), all while failing to register a blip on the excitement scale.
Hell, even the climax of the film is shown prominently on most posters, so that isn’t even a surprise for the younger crowd who ventured into “Clash” without prior knowledge of the original.
So do yourself a favor: save some money, and rent the original. You’ll have a blast laughing at the stop motion (which is far superior than this film’s shitty CGI) and can rest assured that being frozen in a pillar of stone for the rest of your eternal life is more pleasurable than sitting through Clash of the Titans.
1 star out of 5