This was a remake I was looking forward to. The original Clash of the Titans had spectacular moments, the most memorable one being Medusa’s lair, but it was mostly a campy mess and a modern remake seemed an inviting proposition.
Had producers decided to go 3-D before Avatar’s mega-success, we might’ve had something that was at least visually fun with this remake. Instead, they decided, rather late in the game, to convert Titans to 3-D in post-production. The result is a poorly executed story coupled with the very worst excuse for 3-D effects I’ve seen yet—worse than that damned View-Master toy I had when I was a kid. I will share more about the crappy 3-D later in this review.
I’ll say it now: I’ve had enough of this Sam Worthington guy in blockbuster mode. He’s been at the center of the latest Terminator movie, Avatar and now Titans, and they are all duds thanks in part to his one-note, dullard acting. I’m not saying the guy can’t branch out and show us if he can really act or not. I’m just saying I’m tired of his contorted face yelling up at the sky in pain, rebellion, constipation, etc. This guy needs to do something new besides being an interchangeable action star. He’s no Keanu Reeves.
Worthington slots in as Perseus, bastard child of Zeus (Liam Neeson taking over the thankless role that Laurence Olivier played in the original) and reluctant demigod. You see, he’s pissed at the Holy Father because his adoptive parents got killed by Hades (a wheezy Ralph Fiennes) in an extreme boating accident. Zeus and Hades have conspired to give mortals one last chance to snap into line and accept the power of the gods, or they will release the giant Kraken monster. This would be bad news for anybody who owns pricey coastal abodes or digs surfing.
So, grouchy Perseus sets out to retrieve the head of Medusa the Gorgon to kill the Kraken. Her head, whether attached to its body or not, will turn you to stone if you gaze into its eyes. Actually, it looks like it turns you into white encrusted dog shit. I’ll quote Sarah Silverman here: “Whatever happened to that white dog poo from the ’70s?”
The remake screws with the original story, and not in a good way. While Harry Hamlin’s Perseus was on a mission of love, trying to win the hand of Andromeda, Worthington’s Perseus just wants to vanquish the gods, even though he is a god. So I guess the new film is some sort of CGI extravaganza about self-hatred and severe daddy issues. As for Neeson, he’s just playing Aslan, his stupid Jesus Lion character, again, but this time we get to see his bearded, embarrassed face.
It’s not a good-looking movie. Other films, like the recent Alice in Wonderland, have converted 2-D images into 3-D in postproduction with minimal success. (Tim Burton’s revamped The Nightmare Before Christmas looked great.) This time out, the effect dwarfs the film’s visuals. Your eyes really do feel like they are getting sucked out of your head because the visuals look like they are being pulled back into the screen rather than coming at you.
I can’t recall a single moment in this experience when the 3-D effects grabbed me. The crowd I saw it with did a collective gasp when the “Put Your 3-D Glasses on Now!” 3-D graphic came up, because that looked kind of cool. After that … no gasping. While the movie throws Medusa, Pegasus the winged horse, and the Kraken at you, the most effective 3-D occurred in the instructional graphic before the feature. Not a good sign.
While I don’t think this would be a great film in 2-D, that is the originally intended format and is probably easier on the eyes. Unfortunately, in either format, the gods are severely let down.