[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3815&w=o[/img]Title: Clash of the Titans
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Alexa Davalos
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Travis Beachman, Phil Hay
Studio: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Release Date: 4/1/2010
I guess the old adage is true, you really don’t know what is there, until it isn’t there anymore. I was 9 years old when the original Clash of the Titans came to theaters in 1981. I had all of the toys and was very much into the sword and sorcery movies of the time like ‘Sword and the Sorcerer’, ‘Conan’, Etc. Yes, my parents dropped me off and bought my ticket to Conan, it was a much different time back then. At the time I wasn’t that impressed with Clash of the Titans, it was alright but not great. Over the years I have come to appreciate it more for its charm as a legitimate hero steps forward to go on an epic journey to battle with monsters created by gods and rescue the woman he loves. It is in this context in which the new version of the classic story monumentally fails.
The new Clash of the Titans sticks to the general idea of the original movie in that the ancient Greek gods have cursed the city of Argos for the disrespect and arrogance they have shown toward the gods. Now Perseus (Worthington) must find a way to defeat the Kraken and rescue Andromeda (Davalos), the princess of our tale. That is where the similarities in the story end as the filmmakers took several liberties, most of which I think really did more harm than good.
The first change in our story is that the enemy is no longer Thetis played originally by Maggie Smith but instead Hades (Fiennes), god of the underworld. In this version, Hades kills Perseus’ family while they are out fishing. Second and perhaps more impactful to the story, Perseus is no longer on a quest to find a way to stop the Kraken to save the woman he loves but is actually on a quest to extract revenge on Hades for killing his family; saving the princess is just part of the plan and there is no longer a love story between Andromeda and Perseus. Another change involves Calibos (Flemyng) who is no longer the son of Thetis and an outcast deformed by Zeus for killing his heard/flock of flying horses but a former King and Perseus’ step father who is seeking revenge on Zeus (Neeson) for impregnating his former wife. Really?:dontknow:
All of these changes to the story cast a shadow of misery over the entire movie that it never recovers from. Most of the performances are forgettable as the cast appears to just be going through the motions. Worthington’s performance as Perseus could have been plucked from last year’s Terminator: Salvation as his delivery comes across stoic, brooding and unfortunately leaves the viewer feeling uninterested in anything that happens to his anti-hero persona. Sadly, most of the characters suffer from this same plight. In 2010, Zeus is a demanding, unforgiving and selfish creator of man that wants to punish mankind like children for not worshipping him enough and not the caring proud father that Lawrence Olivier presented in 1981. Calibos is now a scarred King that is presented as a victim of Zeus’ wrath and is now in fact Perseus’ stepfather and not the deformed jealous ex-suitor for Andromeda’s affections. On the bright side, Medusa still has snakes for hair.:T It really all plays out more like a very bad anti-hero action movie than an epic story that is set in Greek mythology and I for one regret having to sit through it.
This was such a frustrating development to have to watch unfold because every other aspect of this film was superbly presented. The special effects, set designs and sound design were absolutely top notch and should be commended. I do wish I would have decided to see the standard 2D instead of the 3D as I felt it would have been a better experience….But not by much.
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality. The creatures could be frightening to very young viewers but I didn’t see anything that offended me in any way.
The picture looks great with a lot of detail throughout the movie. The detail that was put into the Stygian witches, the Kraken, Medusa and the other creatures were everything that they could be and the landscapes were epic and truly eye candy material. If done right, the Bluray release should be close to reference material quality. But someone else will have to do that one as I don’t plan on watching this one again.
The sound was immersive and full. There was plenty of surround activity throughout the movie from the ocean scenes to the many battle scenes and especially active during the Medusa scene. Low frequencies were given plenty of attention as well via the giant scorpions, the Kaken and the ocean sequences. Again, the Bluray release should be something to hear if the audio is done correctly.
Clash of the Titans has all of the critical elements that it needs to be an excellent movie. It has a story that is lucid and coherent, an impressive cast of actors and outstanding special effects and CGI. Unfortunately what it doesn’t have is a soul. There is just something so lifeless about the whole thing that it just grinds on and on until you find yourself anxiously waiting for the ending so you can leave. I so wanted to like this movie that I made it a point not to watch the original until after seeing this one in theaters because I didn’t want to have an overly biased opinion and wanted to give this retelling a chance to stand on its own. But it was apparent on the faces of my family and the head shaking of the other movie goers when we left the theater that this wasn’t just a problem for me. This could have been a really good movie but in the end it isn't. Pretty to look at, but no heart.