Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Clash of the Titans - Review

It feels as though you cannot watch an effects laden blockbuster these days without seeing the name Sam Worthington on the poster. Arguably the standout star of last year's underwhelming Terminator Salvation and of course, being the hero of the colossal 3D odyssey Avatar, the audience once again finds themselves viewing Worthington starring in the remake of the 1981 Greek fantasy, Clash of the Titans.

The film follows the original plot rather closely, telling the tale of a demi-god named Perseus (Worthington) as he seeks out the god Hades (Ralph Finnes) for the death of his mortal family. From this straight forward quest for vengeance sparks off an epic journey through the depths of The Underworld and featuring about as many token icons of Greek mythology as you are ever likely to find, this side of the game console series God of War.

Director Louis Leterrier - who is infamous for making box office profits on mediocre products such as The Transporter series and The Incredible Hulk - managed to take a straight forward plot and convey it so poorly through really bad editing, which made me wonder how much of the film is lying on the production room floor, but this is a minor criticism in the grand scale of the other problems the film was already facing.

It is so hard to sum up this film without getting into an 'Internet fanboy' rant but sometimes you just need to be brutally honest. Clash of the Titans was bad, and I mean epically bad. I don't necessarily dislike Sam Worthington but he has about as much charisma as my left foot, and you would think by now with the amount of high profile roles he could make a conscience decision on which accent he is going to use in a film. If he's using his native Australian accent, that's perfectly fine with me, if he wants to attempt to be American, again that's no problem Sam, just pick one and stick with it please.

The rest of the cast were equally as cumbersome, and yet again I find myself asking the question, who is Gemma Arterton sleeping with to land these high profile roles? She has zero presence, zero personality and is about as convincing an actress as my weaker right foot. Liam Neeson and Ralph Finnes try valiantly to lend their experience and class to the roles of Zeus and Hades respectively but they could unfortunately only do so much with the watery, wafer thin, dialogue presented in the screenplay.

Perhaps Clash of the Titans biggest problem was the entire budget probably being wasted on the film's special effects centrepiece, the gigantic Kraken (we won't dwell on the fact the creature is of Scandinavian origin...), but to be honest its no more impressive than its counterpart featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Despite the epic scale of the creature, there was an uneasy feeling that the rest of the special effects and chilling mythological creatures such as the Medusa and army of scorpions were rushed in comparison, which again only fuelled further disappointment.

This brings us to the 3D conversion, which served absolutely zero benefit to the film and perhaps angered me even more because the studio made such a song and dance about the movie being screened in this format. Unlike Avatar which was specifically filmed in 3D, you will lose nothing from seeing Clash of the Titans in the standard 2D.

Final Thoughts
The film had all the ingredients for a potentially enjoyable popcorn blockbuster. However with poor leading performances from Worthington and Arterton combined with some terrible dialogue, confused editing and a needlessly insulting 3D conversion, Clash of the Titans became a laughable chore. As a dear friend of mine - who is notorious for bad puns - would say, "Clash of the Titans? More like Clash of the S***eans".


See This If You Liked...
Clash of the Titans (1981), Disney's Hercules, God of War Trilogy on the PlayStation

Clash of the Titans is in cinemas everywhere from April 2nd.

*Deduct half a mark if you actually paid money to see this.

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