Thursday, April 1, 2010
CLASH OF THE TITANS / *½
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: April 2, 2010
Running Time: 118 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have never seen Desmond Davis’s 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans.” I just think it’s important to know the perspective a critic is coming from, and I came into director Louis Leterrier’s (“The Incredible Hulk”) re-telling of the story with very little prior knowledge, and no attachments of any kind.
The story follows the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), a demigod named Perseus, who is destined to save mankind from the wrath of the Gods. Perseus (Sam Worthington of “Avatar”) is discovered in a casket in the middle of the ocean with his dead mother by Spyros (Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite). You know, your classic Hollywood Meet Cute.
Anyway, Perseus grows up, and in that time the mortals have become disenchanted by the lack of bounty they’ve received from the Gods and decide to go to war with them. Obviously the Gods don’t take too kindly to this, and they fight back. In the crossfire, Perseus’s entire family is killed by Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Perseus vows revenge. Meanwhile, Hades wants his Brother Zeus’s permission to run wild on the humans, to remind them who is in charge and place them back in the human’s good graces. I think hurting people to get them to love you is a bizarre concept, but maybe it’s just my lack of understanding of Greek mythology.
Hades intends to wipe out the entire population, but will spare them if they agree to sacrifice Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos). Why they don’t just do this straight away I don’t know. I also didn’t understand why I was supposed to care whether Andromeda lived or died. She was barely featured in the movie and there was nothing at all worth mentioning about her character, yet a big part of the climactic scene involves her fate. That’s one of the movie’s biggest problems – none of the characters are memorable.
But the biggest problem with “Clash” is by far the 3D. Wanting to get their hands on some of that Avatar money, the team behind “Clash” went back to work on their finished film and added 3D, and boy does it show. The 3D effects are quite frankly atrocious, and look extremely bush league and obviously tacked on. The movie doesn’t have much else going on besides special effects, so this was quite the disappointment.
“Clash of the Titans” will probably open to many millions of dollars, and many will probably like it a lot more than I did. It’s just that after a film like “Avatar” showed the amazing power 3D can add to a movie, “Clash of the Titans” represents an abuse of that power.
Theater: RDM Westroads 14, Omaha, NE
Time: 730 pm
Date: March 30, 2010 (Promo)