In the fancy new remake of the classic Clash of the Titans fantasy adventure film, Perseus has an Australian accent, the mechanical owl Bubo is merely a passing joke and the cheesy effects have turned into the newfangled 3-D mastery every other movie seems to have nowadays.
Let me preface this review by saying I haven’t seen the original, and although I am familiar with the stories of Medusa, Zeus and Hades, I didn’t have that original triumph in the back of my mind to compare to as I watched.
The original 1981 version was a box office hit, reportedly grossing $41 million domestically on a $16 million budget. Producers are no doubt hoping the 2010 version far surpasses that, considering it cost them more than $180 million.
The movie was retrofitted with the 3-D action after filming, and it shows. The real 3-D action is at times too in-your-face and too close for comfort. I wanted to step back and see what was really going on. Maybe it was the 3-D glasses slipping off my own prescription glasses that drove me crazy, but why do all these movies need to be in 3-D?
The first thing I thought of when watching this movie is Sam Worthington must be the luckiest guy on Earth. As one of the lead actors in the blockbuster Avatar, portraying the paralyzed Jake Sully, Worthington also plays Perseus, the mortal son of Zeus.
When Perseus is discovered alive in a wooden box in the ocean by his new family, you know there’s something special about this kid. But not even Perseus can believe who his dad really is, and he fights it to the end. Sounds a lot like Star Wars, now that I think about it.
The action scenes are thrilling as Perseus and his motley group of warriors rise up against the gods. They battle giant impenetrable scorpions, evil flying creatures and, in the final battle scene, the gargantuan Kraken rising ominously from the sea.
Along the way, there’s the awesomely gruesome Stygian Witches with a shared eyeball in the hand, reminiscent of the beautifully horrific Pan’s Labyrinth film. And the weird mummylike men who have their own language and, although at first foes, become friends of the warriors.
The beautiful eye candy of Io (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace) and Andromeda (Alexis Davalos, The Mist) add sexiness to the movie.
Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) as the shining-clothed Zeus and Ralph Fiennes (The Reader) as the decaying Hades were perfectly cast as brothers, since they definitely look alike. However, their acting was not up to par. Fiennes’ whispering madness as Hades was too reminiscent of the awful Christian Bale’s Batman voice.
However, despite the bad acting at times, the story moves along at a good pace, the fight scenes are fantastic and the 3-D afterthought adds to the epic mythological tale.
Now, I wish I could fly off on my own beautiful, chocolate Pegasus.
Clash of the Titans
Rating: PG-13 for fantasy action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton
Running time: 118 minutes