Like Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong, Clash of The Titans takes an iconic film of the post CGI generations and gives it a mega-budget update of crumbling cities, grotesque and limitless monsters of Greek Mythology.
I have always been a fan of mythology, especially Greek with its array of monsters from the Minotaur to the Cyclops, Medusa to Hydra, and the memory of first seeing the original Clash of The Titans, with its stop motion animation blended with live action is one that not only stayed with me but also rekindled my love of movie monsters in general.
And now we have an all new, loud and rowdy, computer generated avalanche of eye-candy remake which features, among others, Medusa and the Kraken as well as more Gods than a polytheistic religion. Among the plethora of remakes that have been churning out over the last decade, there are those which are immediately questionable as anything other than a money making desecration of a mediocre original, those that massacre a good original for the same royalty-hunting reasons and then there are those which either rework the original entirely or give it a welcome update with the available advances in technology.
Clash of The Titans falls into the latter category, although it would be foolish of anyone to think that this is not expected to be a predecessor to this year’s summer blockbusters and bring in the mega bucks with a little help from 3D IMAX sales.
The story is simple enough as Perseus (Sam Worthington), the mortal son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), leads a dangerous expedition to defeat Hades (Ralph Fiennes adding another enigmatic and wicked villain to his CV) and release his family, and attempt to take power from his superior father. Anyone who has seen the original “Clash” will know that among the many creatures and beasts Perseus encounters are the snake-maned Medusa, the monstrous Kraken and of course Hades himself. It is no spoiler to say that the monsters are dispatched after long and dizzying battles in which the special effects teams earn their high salaries. Away from the special effect driven action sequences, do not think that there are no human stories inside this myriad of colours and whizzing cameras. There is love, death, struggle and fear along with a Princess to be saved and there is the dilemma for Zeus of having a mortal son who is somewhat disillusioned with the Gods.
This is the type of film that relies very much on the seamless special effects, and all in all they are some of the best around whether involving the powers of Gods or giant scorpions scuttling across the deserts. The Kraken is expectedly enormous and tentacled to the hilt, although it does put me in mind of an aquatic version of Godzilla, while Medusa slithers across the screen on a serpent’s body, which for me was the only slightly disappointing effect in the movie. Away from her iconic head, there has been little detail added the rest of the gorgon, making her appearance pretty bland, even in comparison to the original film, which I should remind you was made almost 30 years ago with primarily stop motion animation.
The cast, led by Sam Worthington, a recent addition to the bank of Hollywood leading men, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and surprisingly highly-rated British actress Gemma Atterton, ensure the acting is of an expected high standard. The Incredible Hulk’s Louis Leterrier steps up to the mark in the director’s chair, giving a thrill ride that avoids the off-putting camera twisting of action films like Spiderman and instead goes for long sweeping shots which will dizzy viewers a little with the help of the 3D elements but doesn’t just jump from one angle to another without good reason.
For a film with as much hype as Clash of The Titans has had, it is also a film that delivers in all but a few minor areas. There is word that “Clash” is the first in a possible series of Greek Myth movies in the pipeline and I for one would be happy to see them reach the cinema screens in the coming years. Whether you have seen the original version or not, I would still recommend it as an early popcorn blockbuster to lead us into the Twilight Saga dominated summer.