Today’s recent movie du jour is the remake of the 1981 classic Clash of the Titans. This movie was initially supposed to be released on March 26th, but because a test group saw a 3D version and loved it, they decided to convert it to 3D and release it on April 2nd. I have much to say about that, but it’ll have to wait until my next rant – which will probably be released on Monday. Anyway, on to this. Clash of the Titans stars Sam Worthington as Perseus, Liam Neeson as Zeus, Ralph Fiennes as Hades, Gemma Arterton as Io and Mads Mikkelson as the Argo warrior Draco. Just a brief aside before I go on: Gemma Arterton and Mads Mikkelson both starred in the last two James Bond movies; Arterton was Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace (she’s the one who met her fate due to an oil bath) and Mikkelson was LeChiffre in Casino Royale (the guy who wept blood). Now that I have that out of the way, let’s begin.
In lieu of my normal review, where I give away the first few minutes, I’ll give the official press release, because it gives away a bit less.
In Clash Of The Titans,” The Ultimate Struggle For Power Pits Men Against Kings And Kings Against Gods. But The War Between The Gods Themselves Could Destroy The World. Born Of A God But Raised As A Man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) Is Helpless To Save His Family From Hades (Ralph Fiennes), Vengeful God Of The Underworld. With Nothing Left To Lose, Perseus Volunteers To Lead A Dangerous Mission To Defeat Hades Before He Can Seize Power From Zeus (Liam Neebon) And Unleash Hell On Earth. Leading A Daring Band Of Warriors, Perseus Sets Off On A Perilous Journey Deep Into Forbidden Worlds. Battling Unholy Demons And Fearsome Beasts, He Will Only Survive If He Can Accept His Power As A God, Defy His Fate And Create His Own Destiny.
The movie itself was okay. It wasn’t great; that’ll probably come with Iron Man 2 next month. It wasn’t terrible, either; I don’t pay my money to watch terrible movies. It was a nice escape flick where I didn’t bother looking at my watch every 30 minutes. Granted, I didn’t have my watch on, but I wasn’t concerned about the time. The story was decent enough with just enough holes to not be too distracting. Louis Leterrier, who we last saw directing Edward Norton and Liv Tyler in “The Incredible Hulk,” does the honors here, and he knows enough to stay out of his own way and let the performers do what they do.
Speaking of the performers, they did a good job with what they had. Granted, the script was a little flaky at times, but it’s the job of the actors to overcome that. Last we saw of Sam Worthington, he was playing a blue guy in the James Cameron piece of schlock Avatar. Here, his Perseus is a bit of a grouch, but it’s to be expected, given the circumstances at the beginning of the film. I’ve always been a fan of Liam Neeson, and I love his Zeus. He’s compassionate, but angry when provoked. His last two scenes’ with Worthington are wonderful.
If Zeus has a healthy mix of compassion and anger, then Ralph Fiennes was just anger magnified. He started off wispy and frail, but he really let loose by the end of the film. Gemma Arterton was radiant as Io, and by radiant, I mean that literally. It’s almost as if she never got dirty. All of the men in the film looked like they got drug through the mud and sand, but she was perfectly spotless. Mads Mikkelson was rough and tumble as Draco, and it was a stark contrast to the way I remembered him last.
Ramin Djawadi did the honors for the musical score, and I enjoyed his themes. I loved his work in Iron Man, and I’m a little disappointed that he’s not doing the sequel, but I’ll live. He had some potent themes in this movie, and the theme for The Kraken was just powerful enough to be scary, and his theme for Perseus is powerful as well.
I know I give it a bit of grief, but I actually enjoyed the movie for what it was worth; my only major complaint was that it was in 3D for no damn reason. If you can find it in 2D, then it’s definitely worth it. If you just want to see it and can only find it in 3D, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.