Clash of the Titans

April 3, 2010

“Release the Krakan!”  Because that line never gets old.

Short Review #1:  I’d only change one thing:  All the dialog.

Short Review #2:  The only thing better than Pegasus?  Friesian Pegasus!

Short Review #3:  Seriously, though, this had some really fabulous pieces/parts.  But they’ve been put together with really low-grade spackle.

Early on in the film, I realized I had to forget that I knew anything about Greek mythology.  So, pretend this movie is all some made up fantasy land.  I also want to avoid any comparison with the original movie, which I was the perfect age to fall in love with when it came out because it was just so cool and awesome and epic, even though it was also cheesy.  So, no comparisons.

So.  What’s good about the new version?  The pieces/parts.  Gorgeous scenery.  Medusa is OMG amazing scary cool.  Lots of wow fantasy going on here.

What’s not good. (This list is longer.)

  • A really egregious use of shaky-cam during the action scenes.  I could hardly tell what was happening.
  • I didn’t have an emotional connection with a single character.
  • The plot happened because it was supposed to happen, not because there was any narrative drive behind it.  (i.e. Perseus and the hot chick spar and fall down and he ends up on top of her, and by this we are supposed to see that they’re attracted to each other.  So.  They’re attracted to each other because the plot says they’re supposed to be, not because I actually believed it.  And the whole movie is like this.)
  • The mortals stand around ranting about how mean the gods are and that they’re fighting for FREEDOM!!!!!  And the gods stand around muttering about how ungrateful and mean those pesky humans are.  They do this a lot.  It gets really old.  And the more it happens, the less engaged I am.  All the dialog is the characters reciting the plot and theme of the movie to each other.  BAD SPACKLE.  Don’t ever write like this.
  • Ralph Fiennes reprises his role of Voldemort for this film.  (Dear Clash, the Harry Potter movies would like their evil-wizard smokey effects back as they still have one more book to film.)
  • There’s a character whose sole purpose is to explain the plot to Perseus as it happens.  I HATE THAT.  I hated her.  Drove me freakin’ batty.

This is that really frustrating kind of film that would have been awesome if they had just sprung for the high-quality spackle.  The kind that doesn’t show cracks as soon as you put it up.  Because they had some great drywall here.  But man…

I’ll just keep thinking about that Friesian Pegasus…


15 Responses to “Clash of the Titans”

  1. Clint Says:

    Ah, shakycam. Saving Private Ryan started that trend, as I recall. The difference being those scenes were *supposed* to be about chaos, and it was used sparingly. Now it’s used just because, and does little but provide headaches.

  2. MarkB Says:

    I assume you didn’t see it in 3-D? Because I’ve heard the 3-D version is just about unbearable.

  3. spiderorchid Says:

    When I first saw the original movie I thought it was a nice idea but the special effects were awful. Well, and Maggie Smith was in it, so of course I had to see it (and what else to do when it’s Easter TV programming and all the alternatives are biblical epic movies…?). It seems that they reversed the problem with the new version. Better to look at but no character motivation.

    The movie will be released in Germany next week. One magazine’s tag-line was this:
    “Men in chain mail!”
    That says it all, doesn’t it? ~_^

    Happy Easter holidays!

  4. carriev Says:

    No, I didn’t see the 3D version. I became entirely disillusioned when I learned the film was not actually made in 3D, the 3D was shoehorned in in postproduction to cash in on the trend. I’m not paying extra for that.

    The original movie was just lovely. The Harryhausen effects are marvelous for what they are. Yes, they’re cheesy, but back in the day that’s all we had and Harryhausen was the best.

    And the actors actually did their jobs in the original movie. This one, not so much.

  5. Kat Says:

    I must see this movie. I LOVED the original, and just cannot pass it up. But thanks to your review, I’ll just wait for the DVD. 🙂

    What is up with all the 3-D lately anyway? It seems like every other movie coming out is 3-D. Enough already. :/

    P.S. Very much looking forward to the friesian pegasus. I had noticed that it was black in the previews but hadn’t gotten a close enough look to see it was friesian. Beautiful horses. 🙂

  6. ArcLight Says:

    I’ve been kind-of “eh” about the whole idea. Will probably skip it. And is it just me or does Sam Worthington get movie roles solely to make it seem like Shia Laboof has talent/charisma?

  7. Magic Eight Ball Says:

    The pegasus was freakin’ awesome. The critter-y special effects in general were worth watching. I didn’t hate the movie, but I went in with really low expectations, so that probably helped. It probably says something that I don’t actually remember the names of the characters I liked the best, and that my brain will forever refer to them as Mario & Luigi.

  8. Jared Says:

    I only have one question: How was Jason Flemyng’s performance? ‘Cause normally he’s pretty good.

  9. carriev Says:

    Jason Flemyng…I had to look up who he even played. Unfortunately, he was cast in the role of really thankless generic baddy. (As Calibos/Acrisius — yes, the plot made them the same person, don’t ask…) Forgettable.

  10. Brooke N. Says:

    I wanted so bad to love this movie like I do the original, but all the clips and trailers are just killing it for me. Sam What’s his face just looks like he can’t act at all and the little bits of dialogue I’ve heard just make me want to laugh or moan and I don’t think they’re supposed to. *sigh* Why do they do this? Argh.

  11. Heath Says:

    Sam Worthington is a terrible actor. Fortunately most of the supporting characters were actually well cast.

    I am happy that they at least kept all the aspects of the original even if they altered how or why they happen.

    @Magic Eight Ball: It does say something, but the fact that I knew exactly who you meant also says something. Those guys are awesome, and I think they only mention their names once.

    @carriev: You kind of need to suspend your knowledge of mythology watching the original too. It’s closer to actual Greek myth, but it still takes a lot of liberties. I didn’t have a problem with the camera, but I may just be feeling a reprieve after watching Michael Bay’s “camera work”.

  12. carriev Says:

    Well, the first film got the Danae myth right. Perseus ended up with Andromeda, which was right. Perseus actually tamed Pegasus instead of Pegasus just showing up and being nice.

    The first film did a lot of stuff right.

    The remake: used names from Greek mythology for some other story.

  13. Jared Says:

    Actually, in the Greek myth, Perseus never tamed Pegasus. The winged horse sprang from Medusa’s neck when her head was lopped off. What you’re thinking of is probably the story of Bellerophon and Pegasus.

  14. Jared Says:

    Er, what I meant with the second sentence is that that was the extent of Pegasus’ involvement in the Perseus legend.

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