Clash of the Titans

Review by Tom Seymour

Directed by

Louis Leterrier

Starring

Gemma Arterton Liam Neeson Sam Worthington

Anticipation.

The original is a classic. The modern remake could be an awesome spectacle.

Enjoyment.

Two hours of life you will never reclaim.

In Retrospect.

Thank the gods for Gemma Arterton.

A big-budget 3D remake of a classic and popular spectacle film starring the guy from Avatar.

Sam Worthington plays Persues, the orphaned demigod of Zeus and the queen of Argos. Persues becomes caught up in a quest to protect Argos against Hades, the God of the Underworld (Ralph Fiennes) and brother of Zeus (Liam Neeson). Hades manages to convince Zeus to allow him to reek havoc on the increasingly arrogant and rebellious mortals, leading to the immortal line: “Unleash the Kraken!”

Follow all that? Exactly. Euripides didn’t exactly write airport novels, and the need to provide reams of exposition and dutifully explain the mythology to a passive audience weighs heavily on the sword and sandals sub-genre. After the justified success of Gladiator, we’ve been forced to endure Troy, Alexander and Kingdom of Heaven, to name a few. They were overly-long, episodic and baggy.

Clash of the Titans, it seems, appears to be attempting the opposite. Like Zack Snyder’s 300, this is a thinly veiled excuse for one massive set-piece after another. There’s little concern for character development or narrative arc, leading almost every single actor to descend into over-acting. Campy and retro, it’s less Ben Hur, more Flash Gordon.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this. Watching Fiennes dressed like an extra in a primary school production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show could be quite fun after enduring his po-face for two hours of The Reader. But unfortunately, Clash of the Titans is a bigger mess than the modern Greek economy. The dialogue is blunt, the exposition relentless.

The action sequences are repetitive and you’ve seen the Monsters before. The 3D does nothing to hide the all too apparent reality that this is not offering anything new. So the only thing left to do is become bored, and then irritated.

And so on to the accents – the Medusa of epic films. Someone should really hold a convention or something, or maybe, you know, make a film where they speak Greek? After Colin Farrell’s Alexander from Galway and Pitt’s Achilles from Soho, Sam Worthington seems to have plumped for somewhere between Mel Gibson Scottish and Crocodile Dundee. Gemma Arterton breezes along in a monotone that suggests she’s had a couple of vodka martinis and a valium. She could have saved some for us.

Published 2 Apr 2010

Tags: Gemma Arterton Liam Neeson Louis Leterrier Sam Worthington

Anticipation.

The original is a classic. The modern remake could be an awesome spectacle.

Enjoyment.

Two hours of life you will never reclaim.

In Retrospect.

Thank the gods for Gemma Arterton.

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