Sam Worthington as Perseus
Liam Neeson as Zeus
Ralph Fiennes as Hades
Jason Flemyng as Calibos / Acrisius
Gemma Arterton as Io
Alexa Davalos as Andromeda
Tine Stapelfeldt as Danae
Mads Mikkelsen as Draco
Luke Evans as Apollo
Izabella Miko as Athena
Liam Cunningham as Solon
Hans Matheson as Ixas
Ashraf Barhom as Ozal
Mouloud Achour as Kucuk
Ian Whyte as Sheikh Sulieman
Pete Postlethwaite as Spyros
Directed by Louis Leterrier
This reimagining of the 1981 classic falls flat on almost every level – the characters, the creatures, the story, the music, and on and on. You can see the film they were trying to make if you look hard enough, but it’s a mighty struggle… and no thanks to the ham-handed ’3D’ experience.
The new “Clash of the Titans” centers around the same core characters as the Desmond Davis-directed original, with the notable addition of two major roles – Hades, played by Ray Fiennes and Io, played by Gemma Arterton. Perseus (Sam Worthington) is not the young romantic in this one. He is a cold, angst-filled demi-god bent on revenge after Hades, God of the Underworld, kills his adopted family after sinking their fishing boat during the sacking of Argos. Perseus learns he may be able to weaken and defeat Hades if he can destroy his pet – the Kraken. So for revenge, and not love, Perseus sets out on a similar quest to the original film, albeit with different motivations.
Full disclosure – I consider myself a fan of the original “Clash of the Titans.” So, yes, there will likely be some of you that think this review is just a case of sour grapes. So be it. But distancing myself as best I can from the original, this “Clash” is still not a good movie.
Let’s start the deconstruction with the characters. I hazard to guess you will not care about one of them. Not one. Perseus is a buzz-cut gladiator with one gear – mad. (And where did he get that haircut anyway? A feat no one else, not even the Gods, could manage in this film.) Io is a cold, meaningless narrator-type brought in as a love interest to Perseus. Andromeda (Davalos) is given little to do but charity and possibly die. Zeus (Neeson) is the bi-polar father of man that offers to forget man and forgive him in almost the same breath. Hades is a conniving, Denethor look-alike that at his weakest early on had more in common with Little Nicky than Lucifer. Fiennes’ Voldemort from the “Harry Potter” series is more assuming, off-putting character. The only character you might have some feeling for is Spyros (Postlethwaite), but he is only in the first 20 minutes of the film.
The creatures? The Kraken is ok, but never given much definition beyond a few giant tentacles and a small, Rancor-like head and toothy maul. Pegasus is black, but fine other wise. Medusa is a mess. The decision to make her ‘pretty’ did not translate well to the screen. It made her look like a cheap video game cut scene character… and for a tragic figure, she sure is in a good mood. What’s with all of the laughter? The Calibos bloodline is all fouled up and he’s also reduced to looking like the third orc from the left from any generic “Lord of the Rings” knock off. The Djinn were new characters, kind of desert nomads that looked like they were made from driftwood – kind of the bastard children of the Ko-dan from “The Last Starfighter.” Charon? Nope. Surely they got Cerberus right? Maybe, but he’s not in the movie. Bubo?! Yes! Bubo looks good… because he is exactly the same, but sadly reduced to the equivalent of a Jay and Silent Bob fart joke. The only creatures I thought were a marked improvement from the original were the Stygian Witches, but their new ‘eye’ was a setback for them, and the scorpions, which play a bigger role in the film.
The music? Uninspired. Going back and listening to the rousing score from the original–its brass-heavy heroic themes that were over the top, but completely hummable—was a real treat after hearing the music in the latest movie. I can safely say that I cannot remember one measure from it. It added absolutely nothing to the film… and given the grandeur of the source material, that’s sad.
The 3D experience? Don’t bother. This was a post-shoot 3D job and it is not a good one.
I could go on, but I think I’ll stop here. I didn’t really touch on the specific changes to the story from the original, but you can get the idea from the descriptions above that they are numerous. I think there is a good movie buried deep within the idea of this reimagining, but director Louis Leterrier and his crew did not come anywhere close to finding it. In the end, I recommend you stay home and watch the original. Maybe if we all concentrate hard enough, it will be like the 2010 “Clash of the Titans” never happened.