“Clash of the Titans” star, Sam Worthington, said “This isn\’t a history lesson, it\’s a f__ popcorn movie”. All I can say is to grab a tub of popcorn and hang on to your seats. The film is fast paced and action packed. It has everything that I look for in a film: action, humor and romance.
In the beginning we get a short background on the story leading up to the “clash”. I appreciated that since I will admit that my exposure to greek mythology is limited to the Poseiden ride at Universal Studios. We follow Perseus (Sam Worthington) as he learns of his parentage from the immortal Io (Gemma Arterton). Events fall in to place that set his path towards his true destiny.
There were quite a few short action scenes (which is what I like), no real long drawn out battles. It kept the film moving. One obstacle would be over and all of a sudden here comes another challenge. Probably one of the longest scenes was the scorpion scene. I enjoyed watching that knowing that it was Sam Worthington\’s favorite scene to film.
I thought that the dialogue was good, not corny. In fact the dialogue is sparse, short, concise and to the point. But what I liked the best is the dry, sarcastic humor. Just as a character finishes a serious line one of them has a short little quip that had the entire audience laughing.
I didn\’t see the original 1981 Clash, so I wasn\’t comparing this one to the first. I know that Director Louis Leterrier made it clear that he was not attempting to base this version on the original. This was to be a totally different take on the story, not just a remake of the first film. For that reason I think it doesn\’t matter if you have seen the original or not. In my case I enjoyed not looking for comparisons and just enjoying this film for itself.
The entire cast was wonderful. Liam Neeson as “Zeus” and Ralph Fiennes as “Hades” were perfect adversaries. You could just feel the power in the scenes that they had together. Gemma Arterton as “Io” managed to convey a combination of etheral beauty and strength. During some of their scenes together I remembered that Sam Worthington said that Gemma could beat him (and all of the men) in a race. I didn\’t find it hard to believe while watching her in this film. The chemistry between “Io” and “Perseus” was evident but low key.
All of the supporting characters are strong as well. As “Perseus” gathers his band of warriors we get introduced to quite a varied group of characters and we quickly like and care about all of them. There are very few superfluous characters in this film. Even those who are featured for only a few minutes, such as Polly Walker as “Cassiopeia”, make a strong impression. I think the only character that was weak to me was “Andromeda” (Alexa Davalos). She was crucial to the storyline, but I didn\’t find myself really caring if she got eaten by “The Kraken” or not. And I didn\’t even want “Perseus” to become her King in the end.
The battle scene with The Kraken is wild. Even though you know” that Perseus will defeat the monster, you still find yourself holding your breath as the battle unfolds.
Now for the “weakest” part of the film, the 3-D conversion. The film begins with a sequence that I think may have been designed specially for this new 3-D version. It\’s probably the only really successful use of 3-D technology in the film.
I couldn\’t help but compare the use of 3-D technology to how it was used in Avatar, and would say that the 3-D conversion of Clash was not as “clean” as the 3-D effects in Avatar. It\’s not overwhelmingly bad, it didn\’t ruin the film. In fact I\’m not sure if I would notice if I didn\’t know that this film wasn\’t filmed in 3-D. I was sort of “looking for it”. During certain scenes, seemed to me mostly during the action scenes, there was a little blurriness around the figures. You could sort of see the green and red, like you see when you watch a 3-D image withOUT the glasses. Other than some sequences with no characters in the beginning of the film, that I think were done in 3-D from the start for this release, I didn\’t feel as if the film was enhanced by 3-D to any great extent. That coupled with the slight blurriness, made me think that it might be less distracting to watch it in 2-D.
I definitely recommend this film if you are in the mood for a fun, fast paced adventure.. and don\’t forget to grab the popcorn!
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.
Runtime: 118 min