"Clash of the Titans" Movie Review (2010)

4/08/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

"Clash of the Titans"

Directed by Louis Leterrier, written by Travis Beacham, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, 106 minutes, rated PG-13.

By Christopher Smith

Right now, it’s all the rage with the majority of film critics to hate the new action movie, “Clash of the Titans.” Once the initial rash of critics skewered it, word spread, the balance tipped, and along with it came the predictable landslide of sniggers directed at a movie that doesn’t deserve them.

Call it what you want — a herd mentality? — but the majority got it wrong.

Director Louis Leterrier based the film on Travis Beacham, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi’s script, and what he created is a film that delivers exactly what you expect — well-done action pieces blended with jolts of camp that are so over-the-top, you half expect Mount Olympus to be made from one of Joan Crawford’s shoulder pads.

For those who recall the original 1981 movie, this new version tones things down a bit in that it doesn’t also wield a wire hanger, but a good deal of its enjoyment does come from the fact that a lot of the ongoing excess is fun to watch because what’s surrounding it is polished, particularly the special effects. It’s easy to be amused by this movie for the wrong reasons, but it’s also easy to admire it for the right reasons. If you go into it with that mindset, perhaps you’ll have the good time I had.

In the film, all kinds of ugliness is going down between the gods of Olympus and the mortals created by their leader, Zeus (Liam Neeson, gleaming and glistening like a tinsel Christmas tree). Apparently, the mortals are over the gods, so much so that they’re being stingy with their prayers, which the gods feast upon. In an effort to keep the mortals in line, Zeus’ estranged brother, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), arrives in a clap of black smoke and promises Zeus and the other gods that he’s the one to handle the situation.

Trouble is, Hades has a foe in the demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington), who wants revenge on Hades for killing the family who took him in when he was an infant floating in a sarcophagus with his dead mother at sea (don’t ask). Since Perseus is Zeus’ son, the screenwriters dice into the script traces of Freud that clash with traces of Dr. Phil.

Zeus wants Perseus to join him in the heavens as a god, but Perseus wants none of it. He wants to be a man fighting off brutes in a leather skirt. And so, before he heads off to Chelsea, he curls his lips in defiance and joins the Argos to defeat Hades and the threat of a sea monster called the Kraken. Doing so won’t be easy, particularly since along the way, all sorts of monsters come along to kill them first.

Among them are a few doozies, such as giant scorpions, flying bat-things unleashed by Hades, the grotesque hissing of the gorgeous Gorgon sisters, a beautifully rousing scene involving a fight against Medusa, and then the Kraken itself, which smashes the hell out of everything around it because it can.

How Perseus must kill the Kraken we’ll leave for you, but it’s fun to watch him try, regardless of the holes in the script and the occasional lapses in logic. This movie is a theme park ride. Those looking for artistry should turn to the special effects, such as the winged horse Pegasus, which is a seamless marvel to behold, particularly while in flight. As for the acting, the grunting arrives on cue, people bellow when they should, Hades is a fantastic blast of bombast and Perseus leaps and slashes with ease even if Worthington himself is wooden in the role.

Still, this is an action movie, and the action is just fine.

Grade: B-

View WeekinRewind.com's video preview of "Clash of the Titans" below. What did you think of the movie?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Exactly! Pure enjoyment viewing and a little refresher in Greek mythology. Love it!

  2. Topaz said...

    Anyone who says that the new Clash of the Titan's isn't half bad is a complete kiss ass to the industry.

    This shoddy piece of action was nothing more than a bunch of zero's and one's cramped into a horrible story rewrite.

    Since when does good special effects make a good movie?

    The first movie, campy yes, but at least the story was solid and gave you something to route for. Halfway through the new one my friend turned to me and asked - why are they on this journey? I couldn't even remember. it was absolute crap!

    Bring back a good story bring back directors that know how to create suspense with silence instead of a symphony of sensory over load.

    Case in point - watch the original Medusa scene compared to the new one. The first is pure quiet suspense - creepy and thrilling in its silent simplicity the new version - over done, over produced, over acted, and under scripted.

    But yet we pay our money and go see this crap they are shoveling out for us. And what can we do - we pay for it and then we can say it was bad - we should demand our money back and the 2 hours of my life I wasted watching this piece of garbage.

  3. Admin said...

    Topaz--I liked it. That's the thing about movies--or any kind of art. Your own reaction to it. Thanks for offering your reaction!


  4. Jenny said...

    "Call it what you want — a herd mentality? — BUT THE MAJORITY GOT IT WRONG [emphasis mine]."

    But this is less like a personal opinion and more like a statement of fact or objective judgment.

  5. Admin said...

    Yeah, Jenny--it's my opinion. Deal with it.