Monday, April 5, 2010

Clash of the Titans

Found floating in the sea as a baby, Perseus has spent his life wondering who he is. When the gods inadvertently kill his adoptive family and condemn the people of Lagos to death Perseus learns he is a demigod, the lost son of Zeus. Perseus and warriors of Lagos set out to try and find the three witches so they can learn how to defeat Hades and strike back at the gods.

Clash of the Titans is a classic example of a film with a great trailer. However, the trailer does not live up to the film. This film is a remake of a weak but fun original, and I have to say that if you go into the theatre expecting anything other than stupid fun for two hours you will be quite disappointed.

To talk more about the tail wagging the dog, if you were a careful study of the trailer you may have noticed there was only one to two lines of dialogue in it, the rest was action…that was for a reason. This movie has some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard. It’s cool to hear Pete Postelwaith & Liam Neeson emote verbally, but the rest of the dialogue, no matter how sincerely delivered was laughable. My best example of this was when Perseus and the soldiers are about to enter Medusa’s lair and like a good leader Perseus gives his customary pep talk which ends with “now let’s go get this bitch”. I kid you not.

As if that weren’t enough, the actual plot of the film is weak as well. The reason there is only action in the trailer, is because the films plot really only works as a logline “the son of Zeus finds his destiny and encounters mythological creatures in the pursuit to kill Hades”, anything outside of that wears quite thin. It’s as if the screenplay was written by a first year film student with no experience, they were told to make a index cards, each with a seprate scene in the film listed on it, and then arranged into the chronology of the story – nothing is connected, we just move from A to B to C because that is how everything is laid out.

On top of this there is the obvious build up to a hopeful sequel at the end of the film where Zeus tells Perseus that this is his destiny, more trials will come, etc., etc. This is pandering for a franchise. In a franchise the films tend to get weaker as they go along and after seeing Clash of the Titans I cannot imagine what the second film in this franchise would look like – it would probably be better silent so I can just watch Sam Worthington fight for two hours.

As bad as I know Clash of the Titans is, I still have to say I was entertained by it. I can’t even say it aspired to B movie level, but it was fun. I enjoyed the action and as a fan of Sam Worthington I enjoyed the excuse to watch him do his thing for two hours. Plus there is the downright cool factor of Liam Neeson a Zeus. That man can continue to be cast in god roles like Zeus and Aslan and I am going to think he is perfect for them every time.

Clash of the Titans may be an excuse to thrown money around on action and special effects. But there is a silver lining – this will probably be remade again in another ten-twenty years so we’ll have another shot to get it right.

Director: Louis Leterrier
Perseus: Sam Worthington
Zeus: Liam Neeson
Hades: Ralph Finnes
Andromeda: Alexa Davalos
Io: Gemma Arterton

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