Again, I know this has been out on DVD for a good couple of weeks now but I’ve only just managed to get my hands on it so here is my review of the Sword and Sandal fantasy adventure Clash of The Titans.
The adventure takes place in Ancient Greece during the time of Gods and follows Perseus (Avatar’s Sam Worthington) who was born of a God but raised as a man. When his family is killed by the God of the Underworld Hades (Ralph Fiennes) Perseus leads a quest to save the city of Argos (yes, like the shop) and show the God’s, including his father Zeus (Liam Neeson), that man can make a stand.
The story is very old-fashioned and works very well for an adventure movie, mixing the classic mis-matched group of warriors with high-octane action, the giant scorpion fight being a particular stand out. The set-up of the movie is very well executed, with some great performances mostly from the supporting characters, Ralph Fiennes giving a sinister turn as Hades, Neeson once again showing domineering screen presence and Mads Mikkelson (Casino Royale) really standouts amongst the cast of mortals. Worthington certainly fills the criteria for leading hero but doesn’t really do much different from what we’ve seen from him in Avatar and Terminator Salvation, and Gemma Atherton is really there just to look pretty and doesn’t do a lot else. But the film does fall apart in the final act, the set piece with Medusa is well done with surprising results and sacrifice, but the Kraken attack at the film’s supposedly big ‘clash’ climax is very anti-climatic and underwhelming and is over in about 5 minutes. The final scenes as well do set up a sequel which could be interesting to see but is very rushed leaving very little time for retrospective.
Having not seen the original 1980 Ray Harryhausen picture of which this is a remake, I wasn’t a 100% sure on what to expect. I’ve seen Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts and I know the certain charm that the stop motion creations bring to his movies and in this age of CGI and the recent surge of 3-D technology, stop motion has lost its place in big Hollywood pictures. This remake certainly has great potential to utilise modern technology to recreate Harryhausen’s creations and bring Ancient Greek mythology to life for a new generation of cinema-goers. Unfortunately this is one area that the remake doesn’t fulfill.
There was a lot of controversy around the 3-D at the time of the films release. Apparently it was a rush job, converting film to 3-D rather than actually filming in 3-D. There are some shots here in the 2-D version that feel like they were designed for 3-D but I really don’t see the point if the film is not going to be filmed in 3-D, then it does start to make the technology become gimmicky again rather for creative purposes. The CGI as well is pretty standard, the Medusa has no personality and looks patchy, and the face of her looking like it was just slapped on last-minute. The Kraken creature as well looks like a rip-off of the Cloverfield creature and it doesn’t really seem to pose much of threat. It adds to the lack of tension that the climax already has in its rushed state, which is a great shame as the pacing is very well crafted to begin with.
In conclusion, the new Clash of the Titans isn’t a bad film by any means, but there is a much better film underneath this. Hopefully a sequel would fill the potential of the context of Greek mythology and Harryhausen’s animation better tribute. Nevertheless this is enjoyable, if forgettable, popcorn flick.
Extras: The only bonus material on show here are a few additional scenes, that are really just extended/alternative scenes that are already in the movie. The Apollo alternative plotline is really the only point of interest amongst these scenes, otherwise not a great selection.