Artificial Continuum

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clash of the Titans’s catch phrase is “Damn The Gods”, however a more accurate one would be “Damn This Movie”. The film is a boring mess that is anything but godly.

Clash of the Titans follows Perseus (Sam Worthington), a boy who was found at sea by a modest fisherman. Perseus turns out to be the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), and his adoptive family is killed by the vengeful god Hades (Ralph Fiennes) in a battle between the village Argus and the gods. Through a series of events Perseus is sent on a quest by the ungrateful natives to defeat Hades’ gigantic beast, the Kraken.

The film begins well enough with a rather inspired retelling of the origins of Greek mythology through stars and constellations shaped like the Greek gods of old. It’s an interesting and rarely used story technique and it is visually striking in this film. However, after this sequence it becomes painfully obvious that further innovation or creativity will be hard to find in this film.

The acting is wooden and uninteresting. Sam Worthington proves that his acting technique is not to be understated, but just to be flat and uninteresting. Never before have I met a more uninteresting main character. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes command attention when on screen, and their acting jobs are the only true standouts in the film. The rest of the cast is made up of relative no name actors, and their characters are about as noticeable as they are. The only characters in this film outside of the gods and monsters that are remotely interesting die before we can get to know them. It’s ironic that Perseus gives a speech midway through the film that hails the remaining cast members as noble and heroic men, however he never calls them by name. We don’t know their names either.

The special effects range from being adequate and interesting to subpar, and this hinders a film that is filled with monsters and magic. The only true special effects sequence that was interesting to me was the Scorpion battle which happens in the first third of the film. This sequence is fun and action packed and is a painful reminder of what this film could have been. The creature designs are also creative and fun to watch, but they never do much on screen. Medusa, The Fates, and the wooden Arab creatures (yes I don’t know their actual name) were all creatively designed but for the most part don’t do much for the film. The Kraken however is the most disappointing aspect of the film. Hyped up since the very first lines of the movie, The Kraken makes its final appearance in the final moments of the film. However, it is on screen for little more than five minutes, and four and a half of those are it rising out of the water.

The film is riddled with laughably bad moments, and you’ll find the majority of fun you will have with this mess of a picture is at the films expense. However, it does make one fun reference to the original film that will make some fans happy.

Score: D+


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