Clash of the Titans (Warner Bros.)
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.
Starring Sam Worthington, Alexa Davalos, Danny Huston, Gemma Arterton, Pete Postelthwaite, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson.
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi.
Directed by Louis Leterrier.
The Gods must be crazy...about a remake of a forgettable 1981 movie. Clash of the Titans gets an upgrade this week; the story of Perseus and his quest to keep the gods from spoiling life for humans.
Harry Hamlin and Sir Lawrence Olivier are replaced by Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson as Perseus and Zeus in the latest version. The basic story involves Perseus, born of a human mother and fathered by Zeus, who, like other greek gods, enjoyed procreating with humans from time to time, resulting in the occasional demigod, or half-human/half god. Demigods often live in the human world while possessing god-like powers.
Perseus was raised by a fisherman and his wife after they found him floating in a casket with his dead mom in the middle of the ocean. Later as an adult, Perseus' adopted family is caught in the middle of a battle and killed by Hades (Ralph Feinnes), the god of the underworld who attacks the humans of Argos. The people of Argos dared to refuse giving prayers of gratitude to the gods, which Hades uses to motivate Zeus into allowing him to unleash a huge Kraken monster and pretty much destroy the humans. Adding incentive to Perseus is the offer by Hades to sacrifice Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), the daughter of the king of Argos to the gods to appease them, which proves difficult, given the king's new anti-god stance.
Perseus agrees to help the people of Argos, and embarks on a journey to defeat the Kraken by cutting off the head of Medusa and using it to turn the Kraken to stone. He is assisted by another beautiful demigod named Io (Gemma Arterton) and several brave soldiers of Argos as they battle gigantic scorpions and other mythical hazards before a fateful encounter with Medusa, leading up to an epic battle with the Kraken.
Not being a big fan of the original 1981 version, I really didn't expect much from the Clash of the Titans remake. It looked like a big-budget special effects/action upgrade, and that's pretty much what it turned out to be. I suppose some may derive analogies to man's dependence on religion or self-created monsters, but you'd have to dig pretty deep to get such philosophical meaning from Clash of the Titans. Still, if you like special-effects eye candy, Clash of the Titans delivers.
The acting performances aren't that great, either, including the likes of Neeson and Feinnes (the last time these two shared a screen together, they got Oscar nominations in Schindler's List). Worthington's contribution isn't much more than an intense guy who looks good in a tunic while wielding a sword.
Also, there really isn't much benefit from seeing Clash of the Titans in 3-D, unless you want to leave the theater with a headache.