Clash of the Titans Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Regardless, as far as cheesy action-fantasy films go, you should start here before moving into the more obscure entries in the genre.