Clash of the Titans – how many different things could have been wrong with thee? Let me count them – or at least attemt to list them out. But before I do that, let’s get the good out of the way. That shouldn’t take up too much space.
In this sad rendition of a beloved story, “Perseus, the son of Zeus, is caught amid a war between the gods and helpless to save his family from Hades, god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus leads a band of warriors on a dangerous quest to prevent Hades from overthrowing the king of the gods and laying waste to the Earth.”
Hmm – the good things. It’s action-packed and pretty much never let’s up from the get-go. Ralph Fiennes is excellent as Hades – all wheezy, manipulative, and just generally creepy like a serpent. Liam Neeson is commanding in that way that he always is. That’s about all there is good about this movie.
Alright, where to start with the bad. So much ground to cover. Let’s start with the 3D. It’s absolutely awful. It barely had any depth to it at all. During the action sequences all it managed to do was jumble up the image and confuse you as to what you’re supposed to be looking at. This was transferred to 3D after it was filmed and should have been left in 2D.
Next, let’s hit the special effects and creature design. First off, Medusa looked atrocious. We’re talking The Scorpion King in The Mummy Retuns terrible. Her head and facial features in every single shot were no more than 1995 CGI quality. Also, why did it seem like every single creature and monster felt like it had evolved from the same gene pool? The Kraken looked like it was related to the three blind witches – same look, texture, facial features, and shape. The only real difference from what I saw between the two were that The Kraken had eyes. Moving on, what was up with most of the creatures having sharp stingers on their body parts? It’s not enough that The Kraken has giant tentacles and is a behemoth, he has to have pointy stingers on the end of his appendages just like the giant scorpions’ tails. Even Medusa’s tail has a sharp point on it.
Let’s address the characters now. For some reason, we’re supposed to care what happens to the people of the city of Argos. From what we’re shown, it’s filled with a bunch of bratty types who have a chip on their shoulders against the gods. We’re shown the King’s court and it’s a bunch of hedonistic revelers and an egotistical king and queen basically shaking their tiny little fists at the heavens while mocking the gods. By the time Hades shows up at the party and punishes the vain queen by turning her into an old wrinkled lady, I was literally chjeering for The Kraken to destroy the entire city of ingrates. Heck, why wait? I wish Hades would have just wiped out the whole city right then. This movie is full of characters you are given no reason to care about. As a matter of fact, the only character that has any redeeming qualities at all is the King and Queen’s daughter, Andromeda. She’s willing to die for this pathetic city full of nutty religious zealots and spoiled brat citizens. She’s even shown handing out bread to the poor and dying in the streets.
Now to the story. The original idea and motivation for Perseus’ journey is completely changed and butchered, turning this into a whiny quest for vengeance against Hades for the god killing his adopted family. He’s not even in love with Andromeda, which pretty much kills any motivation to save her off. He’s in love with this chick that might as well be a demi-god like him. She’s been “cursed” to stay eternally young and beautiful. Man, is she bad off or what? Of course, the apparently shallow Perseus is going to pick her to be with. I don’t even know how to categorize my next complaint. Maybe it would fall under plot holes? The whole reason for Andromeda to be sacrificed to The Kraken is to save Argos. So why does The Kraken start destroying the city before he even attempts to take Andromeda? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the entire purpose of Perseus’ odyssey? Another thing that bothers me like that was how the angry crowd drags and pushes Andromeda to the sacrificial altar, even when it is all too apparent that she’s willing to go and forfeit herself already. It’s just mindlessness and a reason to stir up some drama onscreen.
In closing, Clash of the Titans is a mess. I won’t say that it wasn’t partially entertaining. It’s not boring. Just don’t expect any semblance of sense, a well-thought out story, or any kind of intelligence to shine through when you go see this. You truly have to walk into the theater, completely shut off your brain and any level of common sense you have, and just become a popcorn-devouring vegetable to enjoy it. Personally, I’ll stick with Harry Hamlin, the robotic Bubo, and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion work and animation. Heed my last warning – Go see this in 2D, not in 3D! Save your hard-earned money.