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Friday, April 2, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "CLASH OF THE TITANS" (2010)

    2010 is definitely the year of the remake, and as we are starting to see many do not hold up well to their originals. Case and point: "Clash of the Titans". Like any good fan-boy, I was awaiting this movie with great anticipation. As Sam Worthington has seen two back-to-back successes with "Terminator: Salvation" and of course "Avatar", although both huge special effects movies, it would seem that the third would invariably be "the charm", not likely. It's amusing to note that these three movies have been released within less than a years time in order to maximize Worthington's screen presence and supposed popularity. We are soon realizing that he is very quickly wearing out this popularity. I realize that while I enjoyed "Avatar" immensely, much of what I loved about it really had nothing to do with his performance and also a lot of it really isn't him anyway.
    With "Clash of the Titans" we have the perfect combination of my two favorite things: mythology and monsters! I loved the 1981 original which I grew up with and although it hasn't yet been 30 years (as is the average duration between many originals and remakes) since the original it seems almost too soon to release a remake. But, with the advancement of CGI special effects and the recent reemergence of the 3D movie, director Louis Leterrier ("The Incredible Hulk"(2008) tries to bring this epic mythological tale back to life. The problem lies in the most basic elements of the original movie and the mythology itself. The mythology is wrong, the story is boring, and even the reason for the quest is construed. But for those of us who actually care about story and plot the rest of those dullards who are consistently wowed by computer-generated monsters and over-blown battle sequences, they are missing the point. The whole character of Perseus played by Worthington is almost a polar opposite of the original and completely off-model of the original mythological hero. Take away the armor and we have another angry, anti-hero! His origins and motivations are completely different and has no resemblance of what he should be! Even the gods and monsters themselves are unimpressive. The only impressive performance comes from Liam Neeson who plays Zeus, but even his performance is lessened to a very few scenes in which he has very few lines and shows off a ridiculously blinding suit of silver armor. The so-called "villain" in the movie is the god of the underworld Hades, played by Ralph Fiennes who becomes a cartoonish, over-melodramatic generic bad-guy. The one thing I was looking forward to in this movie is the quintessential monster, the Kraken! The new Kraken is so-over done and has so little screen time in the climax it barely leaves an impression. The Kraken from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies seems a lot better than this one. All in all, this "Clash..." was so disappointing, it left me drained and with a big headache (or was that from the 3D glasses?)