Clash of the Titans - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Clash of the Titans Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2014
Engaging action, fantasy, Clash of the Titans is a highly entertaining film, but it does have a significant flaw, and that is that it shows its age. On the other hand, the cast do a good job in their performances. Despite the fact that it shows its age, it's still an entertaining movie that should appeal to genre fans. The effects are quite good for its time, however like I said, this is a dated affair. Overall the film is decent at best, and it had the potential of being really good, unfortunately it never realizes, and it has too many shortcomings that make this a somewhat entertaining, yet very flawed movie. I just didn't think it was a great movie, as it is, it a decent picture that tries to be too ambitious, and in turn, it loses track of telling a richly detailed and wonderful story. If you can manage 80's films that shows it age, then by all means, give Clash of the Titans a viewing. The film has its moments, but is also disappointing because it could have been much better. At times the performances are overbearing, and it becomes a bit ridiculous. At least a select few actors here can act, like Dame Maggie Smith, which I quite enjoyed here. I8f you're expecting a grand, epic movie, look elsewhere. Yes, it's a big story, but it feels hollow and empty at times, and it's what brings the film down as well. There are far better fantasy films out there than this one, and it's a shame that the film just fails to really enthrall the viewer. Decent, but never good, Clash of the Titans is one of those movies that should have been very good, and it makes you wonder, if the project had a different director, would this have turned out differently?
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2012
"Clash of the Titans (1981)," although dated, has a very good mythical story about rescuing the princess whom he is in love with. Along his journey, he encounters a two headed dog, a snake woman (medusa), giant scorpions, and the Kraken, something that you will be waiting to see throughout the entire film. What I love so much about this film is the fact that instead of giving small action scenes here and there, just to be let down by the short battle at the end, is the fact that they wait until the last three quarters of the movie to show any action sequences, so my needs are met by the end. Overall, I still am not a huge fan of fictional mythical stories, but this one has really caught my attention and deserves several watches. The action is cool, the characters are likeable, and the shots are key, for keeping the scale of the actual monsters a secret. I had a lot of fun with "Clash of the Titans (1981)" and I would definitely recommend it!
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2012
A unique and unforgettable Greek mythology film. Clash of the Titans it's a delighful classic from the ending of my childhood. Fresh.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2011
Harryhausen definitely went all out for his final film he would work on, and considering how I love Harryhausen and Greek and Roman Mythology, it worked like bread and butter. The stop motion is top notch as always for Harryhausen, and the acting is also very well done especially Burgess Meredith as the playwright Ammon, then newcomer Harry Hamlin as the protagonist Perseus, and Laurence Olivier as Zeus. The effects look good if you invest yourself in the time this film was made, and though it looks really cheesy now and somewhat bad, for the time it looks incredible, such as the blue screen effect where Perseus is riding a Stop Motion Pegasus in the sky. The plot is also very well told and the characters do a great job at telling this story. Though the only thing I find distracting in this movie is the nudity and gore in this film, because I know the R rating existed at the time this was created, but it was pretty shocking to see a womans breasts once and a womans bare behind, now I know at the time where this movie took place that was common, but when you look at it now, a film couldn't be made like this nowadays and not be R. But overall Harryhausen does fantastic at animating this stop motion and the story is well crafted just like the monsters in it.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2011
When I was a boy I paid to see this movies 5 times! Incredible stop motion effects. By the way, the remake pfff what a piece of trash.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
A pretty good fantasy movie, it's got a lot of great clay-mation and special effects like those in Jason and the Argonauts sorta. It's entertaining for the most part, but also sometimes a bit boring.
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2010
I've never been huge on mythology, except that certain characters have always been interesting to me, such as Medusa and Poseidon, but I'd always heard so much about this movie...and I'd been wanting to see it long before the remake was made (which I'll watch soon); I never saw it available to rent and saw it on TV, but never caught it at the beginning, and I'm one that refuses to watch a film unless I catch it from the very start. Now that I have Netflix, it was one of the very first ones I watched, and I can see why it was one of my grandmother's favorite movies. I definitely wouldn't mind owning it. Excellent film with interesting characters, battles, effects, everything about it. I know one thing, the remake will have to be spectacular to be as good as this!
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2010
This may be somewhat dated, but it's really hard not to like.Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion work is the definite highlight of this take on the classic Greek myth. Purists can complain all they want, but when you ignore the liberties, this is a really fun action adventure epic. What's not to like about mythological creatures and the fact that they (somehow) got Laurence Olivier to play Zeus?

As a kid, all of the notable names that show up here went over my head, but looking at it now, it's awesome to see a Bond girl, Hamlet (and other Shakespeare characters), Mother Superior from Sister Act, and the original Penguin among others ham it up and have a good time.

Saw what you will about the crudity of stop-motion, but I think it's awesome. It really makes you appreciate craftsmanship, hard work, and creativity. There are many great sequences, but for my money the absolute best one is the showdown with Medusa- even today that scene is still pretty top notch.

Give this one a shot- it's a nostalgic campy treat.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2009
Well, I was hoping to see the original movie before I watch the remake, and I was lucky to find this movie was aired on TV... For a movie that made 20 years ago, Clash Of The Titans was extremely amazing, especially how they made the effects of Pegasus, Kraken, and Medusa, which is in my opinion, is one of the scariest enemy in a fiction movie which I ever watch... The cast did a pretty good job, but I like it when Perseus had to fight Medusa, it was probably the best scenes in this movie, and it was a pump-your-adrenaline scene type... Overall, for an early 1980s movie, Clash Of The Titans was pretty amazing... Just can't wait to see the remake and see how good can it be...
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2010
The ultimate look into Greek mythology, it is a classic tale of heroes and villains. Anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre can appreciate the rich story and characters. The visual effects, while not perfect, certainly get the point across. I will always commend movies that don't let little things like technology get in the way of the story they want to tell. The style is great and there are some beautiful sets and costumes. I still think Calibos looks great today, he is the ultimate hellbound servant. Perseus is a true hero and someone you root for the whole time. This movie is still entertaining to me and doesn't ever really have dull moments or unimportant elements. It's a classic in every sense of the word.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2007
It's always difficult to review something in 2010 which was made years earlier. The first thing that people do is to criticize the special effects. Does this mean that every movie made before computer graphics should be rejected out of hand. Should we start by throwing out The Wizard of Oz because the flying monkeys used piano wires? It ultimately gets down to whether there is a story worth telling and how well that story is told. Clash of the Titans is not a masterpiece. It does, however, tell a pretty good story. The characters are interesting and the thread of mythology is interesting enough to carry it to its conclusion. The special effects are the stop action kind that were the only thing available at this time. Believe me, they were a lot of fun when the movie first came out.

This tells the story of Perseus who is not as well known in mythology as say Hercules, Theseus, or Jason, but his story is a fun one. The quest for the evil Medusa, the need to figure out a way to defeat her without being turned to stone, the evil Calibos (a complete creation), and, of course, the beautiful Andromenda (Judi Bowker, who is absolutely stunning) is the prize. It is paced nicely and the scenery is pretty breathtaking. The music is also very nice. I enjoyed the creatures. I liked the boatman and the river of death. I liked Pegasus, I liked the sound effects. But I don't mind suspending my disbelief.

The downsides are numerous but I think they have more to do with what the director chose to do. The gods and goddesses are stiff and uninteresting, including Laurence (anything for a buck) Olivier. Some pretty important actors to throw away at these Olympian debriefings. They could have lost the owl. He is a mini version of R2-D2 with his silly metallic bleeps and erratic actions. I'm sure they did this for the kids but it really diminished the integrity of the story. Still, if you allow yourself, you can have a lot of fun with this film.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2010
I used to love this movie , now it's my enemy.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2010
A sleep inducing movie with nothing to excite the average moviegoer unless they happened to have seen this movie when it first came out, and then they are probably only enjoying it because of the rose-tinted glasses. The special effects are laugh inducing and just plain bad, even by the standards of the movies it was released around. Compare this movie to Star Wars and you will see my point. The movie is campy and cheesy and doesn't do anything remotely interesting with Greek mythology. This is a bland fantasy adventure with a good cast just grabbing paychecks. None of the acting is even close to being good and when you couple that with crappy dialogue and special effects, you this minor disaster. There's simply no entertainment value in this movie. I'm hoping the upcoming remake completely goes the opposite direction, and from the look of things it does seem to be that way. It's for the better.
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2010
Certain aspects of this film have not dated so well. The performances often clash, with strong serious roles from Smith and Olivier but rather flat participation from the lead Hamlin. No matter though, because Clash of the Titans is like a child's imagination slapped on screen. Harryhausen's incredible effects work is still amazing to watch, with Medusa still being a terrifying stand-out. Sometimes the individual creations and the live action doesn't quite blend, but the story smooths over the rough edges. They really should continue to make films like this, even if it's just for a quick relief from CGI.
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2009
If you're a fan of the Hercules and Xena live-action television shows, then you'll feel right at home with Clash of the Titans. It shares the endearing cheesyness and loose adhearance to Greek mythology of those shows.

CotT is based on the ancient story of Perseus and Andromeda, but it takes liberties with the tale very often. Be ready for some awesomely old special effects and costumes, a mechanical owl sidekick that could have been straight out of a Disney adaptation, and a few bare breasts. I'm a sucker for anything to do with Greek mythology, so keep your own interest in the subject in mind when you're deciding whether to watch this.
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2006
Ammon: I was partial to tragedy in my youth. That was before experience taught me that life was tragical enough without my having to write about it.

Another Greek adventure film that relies on a mix of cheesiness with over the top theatrical acting, and quality effects by Ray Harryhausen. While slightly less fun and engaging than Jason and the Argonauts, the film certainly maintains the same spirit of that film, and works well enough.

For this Greek adventure, we follow the story of Perseus, played by Harry Hamlin. Following the setup of young Perseus and the acquiring of some of his magic possessions, Perseus, the son of Zeus, wins the hand of the Princess Andromeda in marriage by answering a seemingly impossible riddle. Trouble appears in the shape of Calibos, the princess's former love and all around whiny jerk monster, and his mother, the Goddess Thetis, played by Maggie Smith. In order to stop the dreaded Kraken from being released by Thetis and destroy either Andromeda or her city, Perseus must search for the Medusa, as her head is the only thing that can stop the Kraken. With the help of Pegasus, a robotic owl built by the gods (...yes), and a right hand man played by Burgess Meredith, Persues may just stand a chance.

While working well with its premise and handling the tone appropriately, the main problem comes from stretching out its story too much. The film has less of a straight to the point approach, which results in the development of characters who just don't need that much developing. That may sound silly, but in a silly film like this, its better to have larger than life characters than a bland lead hero character. It certainly helps to have Meredith and Laurence Olivier as Zeus however.

All this being said, of course the real star of the movie, however, is Ray Harryhausen. He does great work for the most part at again providing some clever creations from the world of Greek Myth. While there are certainly clear moments that stand as very dated, some sequences, such as the Medusa scene, are stand outs.

Certainly film about having grand fun with Greek Myth, even if it is stretched out a bit too far.

Zeus: Perseus has won. My son has triumphed.
Hera: A fortunate young man.
Zeus: Fortune is ally to the brave.
Thetis: What a dangerous precedent. What if there more heroes like him? What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities? What will become of us?
Zeus: We would no longer be needed. But, for the moment, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth and mendacity down there on Earth to last forever.
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2009
Clash of the Titans starts with King Acrisius (Donald Houston) of Argos (no not the shop!) sealing his daughter Danae (Vida Taylor) & her young baby son Perseus in a coffin & throwing it into the sea in an act of defiance against the father of the gods Zeus (Laurence Oliver) who happens to be father of Perseus. In anger Zeus commands Poseidon (Jack Gwillim) the god of the sea to release a huge monster known as the Kraken to destroy the city of Argos & also tells him to make sure Danae & Perseus make dry land safely. Years later & Perseus (Harry Hamlin) has grown into a young man, meanwhile Zeus has to punish Calibos (Neil McCarthy) the son of the god Thetis (Maggie Smith) for his crimes & evil ways. Zues turns Calibos into a deformed monster who lives like an outcast in a swamp near the city of Joppur where he used to live & was going to marry the beautiful Princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker). In revenge Thetis transports Perseus to Joppur where he falls in love with Andromeda, once again Thetis isn't happy about this & tells Queen Cassieopeia (Sian Philips) that in 30 days the Kraken will be set free to destroy Joppur unless Andromeda is chained to a stone & offered as a sacrifice. Perseus sets out on a quest to find the knowledge which will let him defeat the Kraken, a journey which takes him to the Stygian witches, the Isle of the Dead & encounters with various monsters, perils & dangers...

This English production was directed by Desmond Davis & is a terrificly entertaining fantasy adventure, the like of which they just don't make anymore. The script by Beverley Cross doesn't retell any one particular myth but jumbles several up together & even adds some ideas of it's own. While Clash of the Titans moves along at a nice pace & is never boring or dull the film seems somewhat overly complicated with lots of twist's, turns & distractions which seemed unnecessary while some of the narrative was a bit muddled. Having said that at least it tries to have some depth & it works most of the time. The character's are a bit bland & dull but serve their purpose as the real star of the show are the monsters which are great. I'm not sure about the comedy relief clockwork Owl Bubo though, who at the end turns up with a bandaged foot & mini walking stick under his wing!

Director Desmond does what he can & while the film is competent nothing really stands out except those monsters, of course. The best sequence is when Perseus fights Medusa in her flame lit labyrinth, the lighting is great in this scene & has tension & atmosphere to it. I thought the skeleton ferryman was quite creepy as well. Surprisingly there is a couple of shots with female nudity & a bit of gore as well.

With a supposed budget of about $15,000,000 Clash of the Titans is a well made film with nice varied locations from dark swamps, ancient temples & cities, Medusa's labyrinth & tropical islands which give it an attractive look throughout. The special effects are stop-motion created by the legendary Ray Harryhausen & Clash of the Titans became his last film project to date as CGI & other more sophisticated forms of effects took over. They are generally excellent as you would expect from a giant Vulture, the Kraken a giant four armed sea monster (actually taken from Scandinavian mythology), a two-headed Dog, the deformed Calibos, Pegasus the flying horse & my favourites the fantastic Snake-haired Medusa & the cool Scorpions. On the down side compared to today's multi million CGI effects they come off as a distant second best with a slight jerkiness & grainy blue-screen imposition although they have a certain personality & charm that compensates somewhat. The acting isn't the best, Ursula Andress gets two lines of dialogue during the whole film despite her almost top billing in the credits.

Clash of the Titans is a highly entertaining fantasy adventure that I think is well worth a watch, so what are you waiting for?
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2007
Cheeseball "epic" with wooden acting and absolutely terrible special effects.
Super Reviewer
½ July 6, 2009
No star-studding can make one overlook the utterly mundane and long-winded plot. If anything, "Clash of the Titans" is more valuable as a special-effects showcase. It is a great way to show future generations what was possible in 1981.

Regardless, as far as cheesy action-fantasy films go, you should start here before moving into the more obscure entries in the genre.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2007
Pure gold and one of the first movies I loved as a kid hehe the classic creatures are brought to life briliantly by Harryhausen and it looks gorgeous still today. The cast is awesome and they work well, its cool and not too cheesey. Its an utter classic, love the Kraken and Medusa.
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