Clash of the Titans is a remake of the fondly remembered 1981 film of the same name. Focusing on the Greek Gods and their home on Mount Olympus, the original was a commerical, if not critical success. The remake, which sees digital, computer-generated effects replace the stop-motion effects of the legendary Ray Harryheusen and was also post-production fit with 3D, hoping to cash-in on the success of Avatar. This startegy worked as the film took just shy of $500m off of a budget of $125m.
Perseus (Sam Worthington) is half man, half God, being as he is the bastard child of Zeus and a mortal woman. Dumped into a river as a baby, he is rescued by a kindly couple who raise him into a hulking man-warrior. When God of the Underworld, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) attempts to usurp his brother Zeus’ (Liam Neeson) throne on Mount Olympus, he kills Perseus’ family, causing the young man to set out on a mission of revenge. Accompanied by a mery band of misfits, Perseus must defeat Medusa and use her head to stop Hades’ mighty sea beast, The Kraken.
Like a lot of historical and fantasy epics of recent years, very little appears to have gone into the storytelling and character development. Playing with stereotypes and caricatures of other well known characters, Clash of the Titans refuses to engage its brain, simply offering a selection of passable action scenes, tied together with some nice visual effects and interesting vistas.
The cast of Clash of the Titans is generally wasted, with Worthington unable to continue his fine work on Avatar as the almost US military-inspired Greek demi-God. Thankfully Fiennes and Neeson are well aware of the type of film this is and chew the scenary like nobodies business. It’s like watching Schindler’s List again, but with no pathos or engagement. Their performances are fun for what they are and clearly highlight the quality gap between veteran character actors and good-looking eye candy like Worthington and the token female character Io (Gemma Arterton).
Clash of the Titans ends up playing like 300 without the romping, camp fun, or Immortals without the style. Aside from Fiennes and Neeson, everyone else lacks the gravitas and tongue-in-cheek bravado to pull if this mindless sword and sandals epic, with Worthington once again proving limp as a leading man. It should also be noted that the 3D was one of the worst examples of its kind during this most recent incarnation of third dimension viewing.