Clash of the Titans Reviews
Pretty but flawed, Clash of the Titans is not as bad as it could have been, but its story and characters could have been more fleshed out.
As far as film adaptions of Greek myths go, "Clash of the Titans" remains fairly faithful. There are a couple of minor issues, such as the inclusion of the mystical, magical djinn, which are not from Greek myth. But that is unimportant because this is a film about action, and action it has. The action is a lot more stylized than what the Greeks probably had in mind, but I don't mind because it is some decent action.
I like the actors in this film too. Sam Worthington (Perseus) stars in his third, big-budget film in the last two years, and he once again proves his skills as an action star. And of course who better to play Zeus and Hades than one of Hollywood's favorite heroes and one of Hollywood's favorite villains; Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, respectively.
It's difficult to say if this "Clash of the Titans" is better or worse than the original film. The original focused more on characters, while this one focuses more on action; so they are difficult to compare. What I can say is that it is a good film in its own right.
As much as I didn't find the original to be my cup of tea, it was an Oscar Winning Best Picture compared to this 2010 cinematic mess, which visually, thematically, and stylistically tried to imitate "Lord of the Rings" with its forced "the time of man has begun" message and the deep-voiced wannabe Cate Blanchett "the world has changed" introduction. The settling looked less Greek and more Middle Earth. I also got an uncomfortable dash of "Harry Potter," as filmmakers desperately tried to push Ralph Fiennes' suave, raspy-voiced Voldemort persona into the storyline. Halfway through the film, I just wanted to throw a brick at the screen and just read Homer's "Odyssey."
There was some dazzling computer generated imagery towards the end of the film, particularly in the form of the horrific monster Medusa. However, this CG feat fell short of the original. Ray Harryhausen's original stop-motion puppet may have been rickety and jerky, but the character possessed a threatening presence, a soul you might say, which was reflected by the careful cunning way she moved, removing arrows from her quiver one-by-one in a contemplative manner. This new Medusa? Yeah, it looked realistic. Yeah, it had a lot of scales like anything you'd see on the Discovery Channel. Yeah, it was photorealistic and had great rendering and detail. But the moment she appeared, she just jumped out and went "Boo!" and slimed over objects like an eel out of water trying to rejoin its friends in the fish tank. In short, this new Medusa was cool, but was as threatening as a ghost on Scooby Doo.
The "final straw" was the mechanical owl. True, I never was a big fan of the mechanical owl in the original, party because it seemed like a cheap cash-in on a certain squeaky droid invented by George Lucas. In this film, Sam Worthington's Perseus picks up the owl, looks at it, and is rudely told to "just leave it." It was intended to be funny, but it came off as a blasphemous slap in the face to the original; come on, just include the darned owl or leave it out completely; this cheap in-joke only made me want to see the older (and far more tolerable) film.
The only thing I can think of that truly worked was Pegasus; boy, there was an awesome flying horse. Changing the equine's color from white (as seen in the original) to pitch black was a really fine choice. Too bad Pegasus couldn't have dropped in for a visit more often. Sam Worthington should have stayed at Pandora.