Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Review - Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans - **

Directed by:  Louis Letterrier

Starring:  Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Review:  If I could explain this movie in one word it would be: blah.  For all the money and all the special effects in this movie it is uninvolved and anti-climactic.

The movie centers around our hero Perseus as played by the uninterested Sam Worthington.  Perseus is a demi-god (half man, half god) and he is the only person who can lead the human race against the gods and destroy their evil pet the Kracken.

The movie follows Perseus and band of men from Argos as they race around the world impossibly fast on foot to find what they need to defeat this Kracken.  Along the way Perseus is helped out by the men he brings with him, a being he finds along the way, and the scantily clad and very attractive Io who somehow is easily able to follow these men, even though they are going to a place "nobody has ever returned from."  These are the kind of plot elements that make this movie fall flat.

Io has been following Perseus ever since he was born and she is a demi-god herself.  She seems to always find a way to be in the right place at the right time to help Perseus in his journey.  She even gives him some training on how to defeat Medusa before they arrive at her lair.  This, of course, brings them closer and some "sexual tension" is there.  It is written that it supposed to be there anyway, but we do not feel it as neither actor is really interested in what they are doing or interested in their character's motivations.

Io being the love interest is misguided.  Perseus is on his quest for two reasons, one to avenge the death of his family at the hands of Hades (he is going to kill a god....riiiiight), and the other is so that the princess of Argos, Andromeda, won't have to be sacrificed to the gods.  Hades has demanded Andromeda is sacrificed so he wont have to release the Kraken and destroy Argos.  This is another point of contention I had, I kept waiting for the moment when, after the city rises up in revolt against the royalty for saving Andromeda, that she would offer herself up as a sacrifice.  This could have been a great plot device, as the day of the Kraken draws near they could cut between Perseus' quest and the castle at Argos where Andromeda and the royalty are debating her sacrifice as they get closer and closer and haven't heard word from Perseus' quest.  The tension that would've developed from that would have been palpable and would've had added a sense of urgency to Perseus' quest.  However, this was not even remotely looked at, Andromeda had about 3 lines the entire movie.

One of the aspects of the original was that it was Perseus' love for Andromeda that drove his quest; however, that love doesn't exist here, his only motivation is revenge and he ends up falling for Io, who I originally thought was more of a motherly character.  This makes his attempt to rescue Andromeda seem less believable.  What does he care if Andromeda dies?  He doesn't even know her and his end goal has nothing to do with Argos, but simply "killing" Hades.  Everything also comes too easy to Perseus.  Just because "there is god in him" he can do anything and take on anyone/anything on his own.  Never having wielded a sword before in his life he is somehow able to defeat the leader of the soldiers from Argos in his first ever sword battle.  I would've even rather seen a training movie montage to explain his prowess over the cop-out "there is god in you" angle.  Not to mention he randomly finds a sword gifted from the gods on the ground while taking a walk and a black pegasus is sent to him that "no man has ever ridden" but he can for the first time with no problem.  All of these just make the audience roll their eyes and take away from the fun part of the movie.

The movie does have some enjoyable elements.  Although the special effects and 3-D were underwhelming, there were some good character designs and interesting elements.  The character of the fallen king whose wife had infidelity with Zeus causing the birth of Perseus, he was played well and designed well.  The bark people of the desert were especially interesting and I wish they would've been dealt with in more depth.  I also wish they would have had more interaction between the gods on Mt. Olympus.  It would've been much cooler to see them really struggle with releasing the Kracken on Zeus' humans.  All in all, the movie just failed and I would say it's not worth your time.

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