The original “Clash of the Titans” was a box office hit in 1981, grossing over $41 million in the United States (with a budget of $16 million). It was, at best, a mediocre “sword and sandals” film featuring a few prestigious (notably Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith) British actors, contrived dialogue, and unbelievable action sequences. Still, it put people in the seats.
Hollywood should have left well enough alone. The 2010 remake of “Clash of the Titans”, directed by Louis Leterrier is stiff, dull, and as unwatchable as a movie can get. Yes, it is that bad.
The action sequences are noisy and action-packed to be sure, but nothing that grabs the imagination even remotely thrills the viewer. What makes this even worse: It is in 3-D. Considering America’s current fascination with 3-D movies, this will have to be a smash, right?
First of all, 3-D by itself does not a movie make (more on that in a moment). Secondly, this is the type of 3-D that Hollywood and the viewing public should fear most of all: a poor quality effect added post-production to cast in on the 3-D craze. Essentially it is nothing more than a ruse, a mild shift of perspective enabling the theater to add a surcharge on to the price of a ticket. Sheesh.
As with the original “Clash of the Titans”, the cast is highlighted by a few “prestigious” Brits: Liam Neeson (Zeus), Ralph Fiennes (Hades), slogging through a shoddily constructed screenplay. The scenes featuring the Gods upon Mt. Olympus, debating the fate and future of the universe and humanity are comical, with the Brits chewing scenery and over-emoting to an absurd degree.
The “Clash of the Titans” is loosely based on the ancient myth of Perseus, who defeated a series of monsters, including Medusa and the infamous Kracken to save the city of Argos. This is all somehow related to the Gods being angry because humanity no longer seems to fear and pray to them as they once did. Long, talky passages are devoted to this subject and it is all excruciatingly boring. No amount of philosophical talk can make Sam Worthington’s portrayal of Perseus particularly likeable or interesting, or make up for the fact that there is not much going on here beyond the middling action sequences that are rendered incomprehensible by Leterrier’s rapid-fire filming style.
The humans apparently want to be freed from the tyranny of the Gods. You will just want to be freed from watching this entire movie.
There is a long -running joke in Hollywood that no matter how awful the original movie was; it can always be made worse. “Clash of the Titans” is a textbook example. It is a cold, soulless film that never invites you into it’s fantasy world.