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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Clash of the Titans (2010) : Movie Review

Clash of the Titans 2010 Trailer, Movie Review and Story description.

Clash of the Titans
Direction : Louis Leterrier
Starring : Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton
Rating : PG-13
Released : April 2, 2010

There are some films from my childhood that were okay and there are some that will always be tops with me. Harryhausen's (it's his as far as I'm concerned) epic adventure Clash of the Titans will always be one of my go-to flicks. Yes, the effects are choppy and dated. Duh. But who cares? Those characters are as familiar to me as any of my friends and even though I felt the visuals were flawed even then, it's fun, fun, fun. So of course I was guardedly optimistic about this recent remake. I wanted to really like it. And I did. But there is a caveat here that requires explanation.

Remember how Perseus did everything out of love for the beautiful Andromeda? How he saw her only while sleeping but was condemned to fall for her even if it meant his own demise? Remember how Thetis (Maggie Smith) was the patron Goddess of Joppa and she got her toga all in a wad because Cassiopeia had the nerve to compare her own daughter's beauty to the Goddess herself? Remember how Burgess Meredith found the confused Perseus and aided him in his quest? Okay, now forget ALL of that because this year's Clash is about none of it.

In an interesting and unexpected twist, this remake keeps most of the characters (with some additions) and many of the elements (Medusa, the witches, the Kraken) and none of the story. Yes, it is completely different. So it's really difficult to compare the two. I'm not sure which is more historically (mythically, whatever) accurate anyway so I can't comment on that. I am going to research it for myself but you can do that on your time if it matters to you.

So on to the film at hand. Like I said, the story is completely different. Instead of love, Perseus is motivated by straight up revenge. His adoptive parents are inadvertently knocked off by Hades and he's had it with the Gods. His entire quest is merely an attempt to take out the Kraken so he can get to Hades himself.

I saw the 2D version because I don't feel like wasting my money on sub-par 3D and according to every review I've read, it's not worth it. Take that for what you will. That being said, the effects are very good. As an action film, this is a fun one. It's a good time even if you do love the original because there are some fun send-ups to the classic. It's wild and woolly and the pace never slows for once. It was over before I realized it. I compare it to The Holy Grail in that it just goes from scene to scene with boring fillers. If I had one gripe about the look it would simply be that Medusa seems more to me like a video game boss. And on the heels of that statement I will add that I can't wait to play the game for this movie.

The major differences in plot even have an explanation, I believe. This film is much darker than its forefather. Back in the eighties happy endings and love were all over the place. That's not so much the case now if you haven't noticed. It's simply a matter of completely different times. They probably thought the old story wouldn't fly with today's jaded audiences. They're likely correct. But I do prefer the original over all. No that's not me being a curmudgeon. I really think that story was more complex and made more sense. This one was a little much to wrap my mind around. And I just don't know if it works since Andromeda really doesn't matter at all in this movie. I'm sure Alexa Davalos was all excited to land the lead female role then she read the script and thought, "waaait that's not what...damn."

The lead, instead, is Io, played beautifully by Gemma Arterton, even if it does leave you scratching your head a bit. As far as cast goes, I have no complaints about the performances. I do think it would have been cool to see more of Postlethwaite. I would have loved to see him reprise the Meredith role and stick around longer. But what are you gonna do?

In the end, this film is a good time if you like action. It's a big old spectacle if you get off on effects

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