It would be hard to imagine a remake of Clash of the Titans being as cheesy as the 1981 original, with Harry Hamlin’s Lego clip-on hair style and the out-dated, but amazing Ray Harryhausen stop-motion creature animation. And indeed, this remake isn’t as cheesy, at least not in the same ways.
It would be hard to imagine a remake of Clash of the Titans being as cheesy as the 1981 original, with Harry Hamlin’s Lego clip-on hair style and the out-dated, but amazing Ray Harryhausen stop-motion creature animation. And indeed, this remake isn’t as cheesy, at least not in the same ways. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original. Those things that made it cheesy were part of my love for it. And part of what I feel is simply nostalgia; remembering how I felt as a teen that loved monsters in pretty much all their forms. So, much of my anticipation for this new, shiny CGI version was simply that love of monsters I never abandoned. But would they darken the tone, make it more serious or hang it upon a more realistic sense of logic? Uh, no.
Zeus and the Gods on Mount Olympus have put the fear of…themselves – into humans for too long. The Greeks are pissed and think it’s time they abandoned the Gods and lived in a human-centric world. But the Gods need humans to believe in them if they want to keep their power. Zeus went and got a queen pregnant to piss off a King. The King found out and tossed the queen and the baby into the ocean. The baby lived and grew up to be Perseus, who is prophecized as being the one to defeat the Gods. Turns out Perseus has to kill that pesky Kraken to accomplish this. So, off we go on a quest to find a way to do that, and get back to the city of Aros in time to save the Princess.
This remake of Clash of the Titans is actually very much like the original: it doesn’t exactly take itself so seriously that you roll your eyes constantly, yet, it doesn’t laugh at iself, either. I’m not gonna say this movie was amazing, but it didn’t suck, either. The first thing to remember? This is all fiction based in mythology! Please don’t act like any of this is based in any sense of reality – It’s NOT. This film maintains a sense of cheese in that it’s basically the same script/story. And the actors are a little over-dramatic. And there are some strange things, like why does the God Hades (played by Ralph Fiennes? Wow.) speak in a weird raspy whisper, until the very end? Whatever, I’m not gonna wonder too much about that, because frankly, Hades was about the best character in the film. May as well ask why Liam Neeson played Zeus. And I suspect you are.
There are some moments of humor, lots of fun creatures to battle, and even an appearance of the metallic owl in one of the funniest moments. And speaking of the creatures, here we have what I’m sure is a bone of contention among the die-hard Harryhausen fans and CGI fans. I don’t think you can even compare such disparate forms of animation, so I won’t. I will say, however, the CG is really excellent. Particularly the scorpions and the Pegasus. The Kraken ain’t bad either. And one of the reasons Hades was so cool is that the CG used on him was just great; all black smoke and fire and winged menace. Cool.
A note about the now ubiquitous 3D: I heard they shot this is 2D and converted it. I could tell. There are some great scenes of 3D, particularly with the scorpions and the Kraken, but overall this movie did not make sufficient use of the technology and they shouldn’t have bothered. It’s a shame, really. This would have been a great film to make good use of it.
However, the film keeps the pace and doesn’t let you get bored. Overall, the acting is perfectly serviceable for what it is. Nobody was bad, but nor was it full of depth. And it’s a who’s who of “where have they been” actors, like Elizabeth McGovern and Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine).
Is it likely that humans would try to go to war with the Gods? No. But as I said before, this is mythology, you HAVE to suspend you disbelief to enjoy it! This movie isn’t going to take a bunch of awards, but if you want to turn off your brain, get some popcorn, and have fun, then this is a fine choice. And when you hear Zeus say, “Release the Kraken!”, you’ll know why you saw the movie. That thing is pretty epic.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer imploring you to stop using “Release the Kraken!” as a metaphor for unzipping your pants. It’s already old, man.