Monday, 12 April 2010

Clash Of The Titans

A 3D sensation meant to blow your brains out but is it the work of Zeus or rather like staring into the eyes of Medusa? The Wild Bore takes on the Gods to find out.

Another 3D extravaganza starring Sam Worthington, this Greek myth gets a brand new re-imagining by Louis Leterrier, the guy who made The Transporter and The Incredible Hulk and, like his previous work there is no soul, no character and nothing but things that might look kinda 'cool'.

The thing is, at least with The Transporter it was so simple that you couldn't knock it for being convoluted, but strangely with the tale of Perseus already mapped out, a lot goes wrong. Namely the whole thing seems to happen so fast! His incredible fighting power seemingly unbeknowest to him until someone attacks, Worthington's cardboard response to find out that you're a bloody demi-God from Zeus himself is remarkable and some weird love story that just doesn't make sense.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The idea here is that the humans aren't praying anymore which feeds the Gods (what are we?! 12?!) so in anger Zeus agrees for Hades to take over a bit and release the Kraken. Hades unfortunately kills Perseus's family and our hero is there when Hades tells the kingdom of (giggle) Argos that they have to sacrifice the Princess in ten days or the Kraken will destroy Argos (please no! It'll be like Woolworths all over again!). Thus Perseus and some others decide they need to destroy the Kraken instead and not cave in to the Gods' wishes.

In theory, this could work so easily that it hurts but instead it's just a confusing sequence of events that tries, and fails, to have some character depth. Where to begin? Well, let's get all the story shit out of the way, firstly the film is somewhat of a father/son relationship tale but Zeus is playing both the good guy and the bad guy, he will release the Kraken and even agree to abandon Perseus in one scene, then be coming down to try and help a bit later. What? Why not just stop all this nonsense from the beginning?! It almost makes me quiver in embarrassment it's so badly executed. Then there's Gemma Arteton's Lo who acts as a guide for Perseus, which is fair enough, but they then have one kind of love scene, (which is more awkward than anything) and then they are suddenly destined to be lovers. I don't think being with her for all eternity was what Perseus had in mind seeing as he hardly knew the bloody girl.

So the journey begins and some Orc-like creature is on their tail, when they have a fight with him his blood sprouts ... huge scorpions? Why? Is this what Hades was supposed to have given him? Scorpion blood? Also who the hell are these weird blue sand creatures, are they in Greek mythology? I don't think so. They look like they should be in Star Wars! Soon they travel to the Underworld and the Medusa fight is awful, not only is it not scary in the slightest (the original stop-animated one was a million times scarier and less real) but I didn't know what was going on, Perseus is hanging at one point and hoists up his mate, but I don't understand where to. The editing is so fast and crap, that sometimes you have no idea where everyone is and what they are doing, this casual disparaging view of the audience who are presumably constantly suspending belief anyway shouldn't be used in films today, audiences are getting smarter and they need to keep up with it. Anyone who walked away from Clash of the Titans thinking it was great was probably watching it while playing truant.

Finally when he surfs in against the Kraken, the whole thing lasts about five minutes and he saves the Princess, which might as well have been a sheep for what it was worth. He takes a lucky smack against Hades who is banished to the Underground in a piss-poor way and that's it. Did I really just fork out the extortionate 3D rates that cinemas are charging for this?! I can understand how the Zeus/Perseus thing could be interesting if better told, I can even understand the idea of rising up against the Gods, but looking into the production further you can see it was plagued by script re-writes and re-shoots, that the original vision of one man against the Gods becomes a mess because of too many people sticking their noses in. It's in essence a road movie, and you shouldn't stray too far from that, but it's proof that Letterier is all style and no substance and can't handle the big projects. I doubt he'll get a budget like this again, but unfortunately as is the way of Hollywood, there will probably be a sequel because idiots like me have forked out to see it, even just to see a 3D film. So you never know.

But putting to one side the awful plot, what's the effects and all that like? Well, not that good either. Everything looks so CG that it makes me sick they could even have let it pass. The 3D-ness is okay, but it was fuzzy around the sides and I could have easily been watching it in 2D and it wouldn't have mattered, there wasn't much depth of scenery nor anything sticking out of the screen, instead it felt like the 3D aspect was an after-thought, which is a shame. You'd think Worthington might have even piped up seeing as he was in the greatest 3D epic yet. But alas no, and this film does truly show his acting colours which are grey to say the least. Even Neeson and Fiennes don't put their all into it and it's apparent that this was just a paycheck for them and nothing more. Even the comic relief of two weird hunters doesn't get more than two lines, the religious guys in Argos are inconsequential and other characters are as flat as the screen it's being projected on.

I'm trying hard to think of some good stuff but there's not much. The action is so fast that you're not often left bored until the end, which should be amazing but just isn't, the bit with the three witches is probably the best scene and the costumes are pretty good, but the fact that I'm even discussing the costume as a plus is proof of how bad this film is. Don't go to see it unless you have to. The money might be up on the screen but there's far more superior stuff out there. I'm only giving this marks because of a certain bang for your buck and that I was at least able to sit through it. But for something like Clash Of The Titans, you'd really hope it was more than just Cash For The Titans.

Rating: 3/10


  1. On the Isle of Man, they have two cinemas. One wasn't open, so we were forced to see this. I agree with all the points above but wanted to add one...

    For an epic of this scale, I really expected it to be longer. I think it comes in at well under 2 hours, which just isn't long enough.

    Of course, the film was crap anyway so I was glad to get out. Still, a bit more patience and time taken telling the story might have helped iron out the ill-coordinated toss that it was.

  2. Nicely put Sam, while I haven't seen it yet, I haven't heard a lot that has made me want to either.

    I think its because of films like this that feel the need to convert to 3D after the fact, the 3D gimmick just might not last. People wont continually stand to for out the cash for poor quality 3-D.