Ungodly Remake

From the visuals to the storyline, 'Clash of the Titans' is a huge letdown

The original Clash of the Titans had spectacular moments, the most memorable one being Medusa's lair, but it was mostly a campy mess, and a modern remake seemed like an inviting proposition.

Had producers decided to make the picture in 3-D before Avatar's mega-success, we might've had something that was at least visually fun with this remake. Instead, filmmakers decided late in the game to convert Titans to 3-D in post-production. The result is a poorly executed story coupled with the very worst excuse for 3-D effects I've seen yet ... worse than that damned View-Master toy I had when I was a kid.

I've had enough of Sam Worthington in blockbuster mode. He was at the center of the latest Terminator movie, then Avatar, and now Titans—and they are all duds, thanks in part to his one-note, dull acting. I'm not saying the guy can't branch out and eventually show whether or not he can really act; I am saying I'm tired of his contorted face yelling at the sky in pain, rebellion, constipation, etc. This guy needs to do something new besides simply being an interchangeable action star. He's no Keanu Reeves.

Worthington plays Perseus, the bastard child of Zeus (Liam Neeson, taking over the role played by Laurence Olivier in the original). You see, Perseus is pissed because his adoptive parents got killed by Hades (a wheezy Ralph Fiennes) in an extreme boating accident. Zeus and Hades have conspired to give mortals one last chance to snap into line and accept the power of the gods; otherwise, they will release the giant Kraken monster. This would be bad news for anybody who owns pricey coastal abodes or enjoys surfing.

So, the grouchy Perseus sets out to retrieve the head of Medusa the Gorgon to kill the Kraken. Her head, whether it's attached to its body or not, turns people and creatures into stone if they gaze into its eyes. Actually, it looks like it turns people and creatures into white encrusted dog shit. I'll quote Sarah Silverman here: "Whatever happened to that white dog poo from the '70s?"

The remake screws with the original story, and not in a good way. While Harry Hamlin's Perseus was on a mission of love, trying to win the hand of Andromeda, Worthington's Perseus just wants to vanquish the gods, even though he is a god himself. In other words, the new film is some sort of CGI extravaganza about self-hatred and severe daddy issues. As for Neeson, he's just playing Aslan again, but this time, we get to see his actual bearded, embarrassed face.

This is not a good-looking movie. Other films, like the recent Alice in Wonderland, have been converted into 3-D in postproduction with some success. (Tim Burton's revamped The Nightmare Before Christmas actually looked great.) This time out, the 3-D effects overshadow the film's visuals. Your eyes feel like they are getting sucked out of your head, because the visuals look like they are being pulled back into the screen rather than coming at you.

I can't recall a single moment when the 3-D effects grabbed me. The crowd I saw it with did a collective gasp when the "Put Your 3-D Glasses on Now!" 3-D graphic came up, because that looked kind of cool. After that ... no gasping. In other words, while the movie threw Medusa, Pegasus the winged horse and the Kraken at viewers, its most effective 3-D moment was the instructional graphic before the feature. Not a good sign.

While I don't think this would be a great film in 2-D, it would be easier on the eyes. Unfortunately, in either format, Clash of the Titans is a severe letdown.


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