Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans

This remake of the cult classic from 1981 of the same name doesn’t hold up to the older movie, but there are a few fun moments. Given the better special effects, it is a real shame that the story for this remake feels incomplete. There are character-building moments that are never paid off while other things are simply left hanging with no payoff. The movie needed another ten minutes to fill out the sometimes confusing story choices.
Zeus is mad because the humans have decided to abandon worshiping the Gods and an out war is forced upon the world. Zeus lets his brother Hades loose on the land of men. In all this mess, Perseus, a son of Zeus, seeks revenge against the Gods for killing his adoptive family. So, he embarks on mission with allies to bring the Gods and especially Hades down before everything is lost.
So, how does Clash of the Titans (Clash) hold up? It isn't as campy as the original film, but there are some fun moments and some nice callbacks to the original film. The film does feel like there was a lot of studio interference which robbed the film of some its bite. This is further supported by the tacked-on Hollywood ending.
Speaking of callbacks, one of my favorite moments in the movie deals with the return of everyone's beloved mechanical owl Bubo. He shows up for a couple of seconds and is promptly thrown away. And, the fact it is an exact replica of the original Bubo that you could make the case that it IS the Bubo from that other movie. By the way, Sam Worthington hated the owl so much that he threaten to destroy it while on set.
Sam Worthington isn't terrible in the role of Perseus. However, he doesn't have the playfulness of the original actor Harry Hamlin. Worthington plays the role too serious and straight to the point of the character becoming dull. When you boil it down, there isn't much of a difference between Perseus and his character in Avatar. Worthington looks the part of a sword and saddles hero though, and he moves like a warrior as well.
Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are great as Zeus and Hades, and yet there isn't enough screen time devoted to either character to form a true judgment. Again, the movie has an air of an unfinished script or edit. Gemma Arterton isn't bad in her role of exposition character. All she does is spout out exposition to move each set-piece into place. I get the feeling she plays the same exact role in Prince of Persia.
For the most part, the CGI FX shots are pretty impressive. The giant scorpion fight is actually an impressive feat and feels right at home with the old Clash movie. There are a few shots of the Pegasus that aren’t that convincing.
The fight between Perseus/entourage and the Medusa is almost as fun and creepy as the one I remembered fondly from my childhood. This time around, Medusa is actually kind of hot...minus the stone stare and snakes for hair. It would certainly make the first date an interesting on.
Overall, the movie isn't great, but there are a few flashes of fun and callbacks to the cult classic. There are too many problems with the script that simply can't elevate the film above mediocrity. While the original movie had bad FX and strange things happening in it, it had charm and wit, which is lacking in the remake. Yet, there are a few good things to enjoy that keep this movie above terrible. It would be interesting to see a new director's cut of the movie though...
Grade: C

No comments:

Blog Information Profile for Semaj47