I have a strong love for Greek mythology. That love is directly attributable to the 1981 classic fantasy film, Clash of the Titans. Clash of the Titans by today’s standards is corny and over-the-top but even so I still love the film. However when news that a remade version of the classic film was in production I could hardly contain my excitement, after all who wouldn’t want to see the myths of ancient Greece come to life with today’s technology?
Let me get this out of the way, Clash of the Titans is not a film you are going to watch for any semblance of substance. It was designed from the ground up to be a blockbuster film and if you can accept it for what it is you should be able to leave the film having enjoyed your time. If you are expecting anything other than a blockbuster action flick though you are going to be sorely disappointed.
For those unfamiliar with the premise of the original, Clash of the Titans is the story of Perseus, the son of Zeus. Perseus is tasked with saving the lovely Andromeda from the mighty Kraken that is just waiting to be unleashed. To defeat the Kraken, Perseus must journey to defeat Medusa which is the only possible way for a mortal to defeat the mighty creature.
Director Louis Leterrier was handed the project because he was a fan of the original and it shows, maybe a bit too much. Leterrier’s version of the film hardly ever strays from the outline of the original. In fact I am not sure why it took three people to adapt Beverley Cross’s screenplay of the 1981 version because aside from a few plot modifications, some good and some bad, Clash of the Titans 2010 is virtually the same as the original with an added hint of seriousness to the whole thing.
While most of the actors seem to be having quite a bit of fun, especially Liam Neeson as Zeus, with their roles in the film, Sam Worthington (Perseus) did not seem to get the memo. His wooden performance is actually quite laughable especially when compared to Harry Hamlin’s take as Perseus in the original. Worthington has the look down and he is believable in the action scenes but Hamlin’s Perseus had a a personality (his performance is so loved that he even reprises it in Sony’s Blockbuster video game God of War II), sadly Worthington brings none of Hamlin’s likability to the screen and the overall product suffers for it.
However despite Worthington’s failings as a charismatic hero the film has enough going on visually that he becomes secondary to it all. As I stated previously Clash of the Titans 2010 is virtually the same as its 1981 counterpart so expect giant scorpions, Medusa, Calibos, Pegasus, and the Kraken except it is all done on a much grander scale. I will not go so far as to say that the special effects for this version of the film top Ray Harryhausen’s effects from the original because the original’s effects have such a charm to them but I will say that the CGI of today certainly looks more believable than the stop motion animation of 1981.
So is Clash of the Titans a good movie? No and yes. As a film it is a disaster, the story is choppy at best and the acting is borderline ridiculous, especially from Worthington. However as a fan of the original I enjoyed it, especially the cameo of Bubo the robotic owl, and as early summer entertainment it works. The film is stupid fun and never asks anything more from you than to sit back and be entertained. I have quite the strong feeling that if I was a kid today watching this movie, I would fall in love with Greek mythology all over again.
3 out of 5.