Mythology has never been my forte. What basic knowledge I do have stems from one place – not school – but Hollywood. It sounds like blasphemy, but films exploit the histories of a plethora of different branches of mythology, but especially Greek mythology and the stories of Zeus, Hades, and Perseus have been distorted and retold countless times.
The most recent attempt to cash in on once fearsome Gods is “Clash of the Titans,” which is directed by Louis Leterrier (whose previous films include “The Incredible Hulk” and “Unleashed”) and is a remake of the Desmond Davis film of the same name.
The high production values in “Clash of the Titans” are seen at first glance, but this does not secure the film’s place as “godly cinema.” In fact, it sports a mess of a script, wooden performances, and awkward story-telling that would feel more at home with Hades.
It’s a shame that Sam Worthington decided to play the role of Perseus – Zeus’ (Liam Neeson) son who decides to wage war against Hades (Ralph Fiennes) after his human family (who found Perseus inside a wooden coffin that was afloat at sea) is killed by the conspiring god of the underworld. Worthington has been gaining unstoppable hype for his leading role in James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which though not great was at least passable; however, as Perseus, he is surprisingly emotionless and is ironically more mechanical than his character in “Terminator: Salvation.”
But to single out Worthington’s performance would be a sin as the supporting cast is not any better. Although Neeson gains some charisma from deviating from his typical character (I personally think it’s the beard), he could have been much better.
Ralph Fiennes is also deserving of slack for his subpar and at times laughable portrayal of Hades.
But it’s not completely the actor’s faults and credit for such mediocrity must be shared with screen-writers Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi. The dialog is absolutely painful and the storyline, which is comprised of pure cheese, is too reliant on the film’s spectacular special effects and entertaining action sequences to be appreciated all by its lonesome.
Though it’d be nice to have a protagonist that’s easy to root for during these exciting exposés of the joys of computer generated images, “Clash of the Titans” still manages to remain entertaining simply because of these scenes, however, they are not good enough for the film to actually be classified as a good film.
“Clash of the Titans” will no doubt attract a large audience this opening weekend, but movie-goers be weary for a surprisingly ungodly experience.
Note: I did not see the film in 3D because I feel like the added technology distracts you from the film itself.
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