28.7.10

DVD: Clash of the Titans (2010)

Photo: amazon.ca

Starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Directed by Louis Leterrier. 106 minutes. PG

Judging from the trailer, Clash of the Titans seemed like epic-done-right: the confidence of 300, a thoughtful story like The Lord of the Rings and villains that were actually scary (glow-in-the-dark Liam Neeson excluded). I saw something else though,when I saw the film in theatres. Watching it again, I realized, 3D does make a difference, and in this case, for the worse.

Clash of the Titans is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, an adaptation of the Greek myth of Perseus (Sam Worthington). Mortals have given up on the gods and therefore, Zeus (Neeson) has given up on mortals, allowing his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to go ahead with destroying their city of Argos, with help from some CGI-fied monsters. Perseus, a demi-god and son of Zeus, declines life as a deity and enlists to help the king in defeating Hades and saving kraken-bait princess, Andromeda.

The movie seemed to whoosh by in theatres, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It ran then it was gone and life indifferently trudged on. Watching it on non-3D DVD later, I realized how unnecessarily distracting 3D can be. I guess that's what happens when at last minute, filmmakers decide to cash in on the craze and self-destroy their own film.

Sadly though, 2D Clash of the Titans still isn't much to marvel at. The story is very basic: destroy all evil to save humanity. You can probably break most epics down to the same premise but it's just boring to meet the hero, find out the task and believe that he will succeed against all. That's why 300 was so awesome for defying this.

Acting was also very formulaic and over-the-top. Of course this is one of the few genres where over-the-top-ness can work to fuel triumph but in this case, it just felt trite. We expected this kind of acting. We expected dirtied, straight faces delivering clich├ęs in their testosteroned righteousness.

Also thanks to some of the preceding epic film brilliance, we expected gruesomely horrifying monsters. At least in this area, the film didn't disappoint (but didn't wow either). Yes, the harpies are scarier than The Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys and the kraken is more frightening, well, than the Pirates of the Caribbean kraken, but Orcs and Uruk-hai remain untouchable.

I cannot recommend Clash of the Titans for any logical reason other than to put your faves that much more on a pedestal. It is mediocre at both best and worst. If you're still dying to see it though, the good news is, you can't watch it in 3D. C

EXTRAS: Behind-the-scenes, interviews, deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

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