‘Clash of the Titans’ Bores More Often Than Thrills

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Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The unjustified remake of the ’80s camp-fest “Clash of the Titans” may have been re-purposed for the trend of 3-D but its performances are still tragically 2-D and its plot practically see-through. With a story so paper-thin that I half-expected a character to announce “Now is the time for the clash of the titans!,” the anticipated pic is more boring than aggressively bad and proves that all the mythology and fancy CGI in the world can’t disguise a lack of movie fundamentals like plot and character.

“Clash of the Titans” opens with the birth of Perseus, the offspring of Zeus (Liam Neeson) and the wife of King Acrisius (Jason Flemyng), rescued from a watery grave by kindly fisherman Spyros (Pete Postelthwaite). Flash forward about twenty years as the now-grown Perseus (Sam Worthington) may look like a warrior but he’s stuck in the life of a fish-catcher.

Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans
Photo credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

Of course, all of that changes when Spyros and his family happen to be off the shore of Argos when the local citizens decide to throw up the middle finger at the powerful Gods who control their world and proclaim their independence. After they topple a statue, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) summons enough Hell fury to kill Perseus’ family and send him into the court of the Argosian King and the lovely Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) just in time for her mother to proclaim her more beautiful Aphrodite. Big mistake.

Flash to Mt. Olympus where the Gods are discussing what to do about these pesky humans. Zeus gives Hades permission to teach them a thing or two about independence and the Lord of the Underworld informs the people of Argos that the legendary Kraken will be unleashed upon them if they do not sacrifice Andromeda for the greater good. Perseus, the ageless Io (Gemma Arterton), warrior Draco (Mads Mikkelsen), and a few other soldiers that might as well be wearing red chain mail they’re so marked for death head out on an ancient road trip to find the one thing that can kill the Kraken. Road trip!

The plot of “Clash of the Titans” is so perfunctory that the film could be watched with the volume turned all the way down and completely understood and yet the writers of this awful script make the mistake of linking their CGI sequences with some of the most overblown, self-serious monologues in years. It gets to the point where yet another repetitive scene of 2nd-grade dialogue about the importance of being a man and having control of your own destiny is far scarier than the film’s legendary Kraken or the wrath of Zeus. I thought at one point that Perseus was merely going to bore the beast to death.

Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans
Photo credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

The original “Clash of the Titans” had campy charms and a flashback style reminiscent of timeless films like “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” or “Jason and the Argonauts”. Other than a few flashes of wit from Fiennes and Mikkelsen, the new “Clash” takes itself FAR too seriously. There’s rarely a moment of levity, sexuality, or humanity in this cold exercise in blockbuster filmmaking.

Off-setting the relative charm of Fiennes and Mikkelsen are Worthington, Davalos, and Arterton - a trio of actors that look good in a tunic or toga but are remarkably dull. There’s so little dramatic energy in “Clash of the Titans” that it starts to feel like a video game cut scene for a title that you’ll never get to actually control yourself.

Yes, there is some escapist charm to a few of the sequences and the film does seem to be riding two trends simultaneously - 3-D and mythology-based entertainment (“Percy Jackson,” games like “Dante’s Inferno” and “God of War III”) - so it will likely find a few fans willing to overlook its flaws. But twenty years from now when filmmakers are remaking the remakes, I can picture them looking at this film and wondering why the original was ever remade in the first place.

‘Clash of the Titans’ stars Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, and Alexa Davalos. It was written by Travis Beacham and Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi and directed by Louis Leterrier. It opened on April 2nd, 2010. It is rated PG-13.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous's picture

Honest review of the movie! thumbs up!

The Clash of the Titans 2010 is definitely a flop. But it has inspired some costume designers to make Aphrodite costumes, Perseus costumes, etc. for Halloween! Anyways, your review of the movie is very honest and frank and I really find this movie so 2-D (or lesser).

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