Clash Of The Titans **
One Liner Review:
What could have been a promising story ends up being just an average movie, heavy on effects, but pretty weak on plot.
Clash of the Titans could have been one of the coolest action movies, featuring a great story that scaled the heights of Greek Mythology. But it wasn’t interested in storytelling, as much as it was interested in action, and that was it’s downfall. The action wasn’t anything great. There was a lot of it, sure, but NOT a whole lot to remember when it was through. And the plot was sacrificed in order to make space for more action sequences. The movie could have been something much cooler. Imagine a movie that took on Greek mythology and spent almost an equal amount of time with the Greek gods as it did with the humans. Well, unfortunately, that is not this film.
This movie introduces, in an opening voice-over monologue, the story of the three gods on Mount Olympus and how they defeated the Titans. The three gods are Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. Would you believe then, that we don’t even see Poseidon at any point in the entire movie? I loved the idea of spending some time on Mount Olympus, but the movie gives us a very minimal amount of scenes there, really just showing us one room. Yes, it’s cool that Liam Neeson is playing Zeus, and yes his outfits of gold and silver that shine so bright they become blurry and shimmery are pretty kick ass. But what else does this movie have going for it? Not much.
The whole movie is pretty much just man against beasts. The gods are angry, so they start throwing all kinds of giant creatures at man. There’s a silly threat made by Hades, that if the people want to avoid these attacks, they can just sacrifice their Princess. I’m pretty sure the Princess would have been sacrificed right then and there. At the very least, common men would attack the guards and there would be an ongoing conflict between the regular people and the knights of the kingdom. Perhaps some knights might even side with the people, after seeing their comrades killed by the beasts. Of course the movie never gets into any of this. Not even close. It just takes it as a given that the people won’t be giving up their princess and moves on. And why does Hades care about her anyway? It seems very childish and simple, and unfortunately, it seems that is what the movie is going for.
I never saw the original film, but I could guarantee its better than this movie. Our main character is Perseus, a man known in mythology for the slaying of Medussa. So, just by having him in the movie, you know we’re going to get some Medussa action. But it is handled so badly, with all computer effects as she slither’s around as a half serpent half woman, that the potential of having her in the movie is thrown out the window. I suppose director Louis Letterier thought changing her form in this way would be cool, but he takes what was supposed to be a woman with one defining feature, her hair, and makes her into just another monster. The way she moves dominates her presence so much that we almost don’t even notice her hair.
The monsters are stupid and easily defeated. Yes, they kill some men each time they appear, but the deaths aren’t felt at all. There’s no mourning or feelings of loss by the characters. Even when they decide to give us a way that Sam Worthington (the actor playing Perseus) defeats one of the giant scorpions, it’s shown so quickly and in such little detail, that he literally just pops out of the skin. So much for even making an attempt to explain how things could feasibly happen.
The movie has Hades look around in the underworld and find the man who was married to Perseus’ mother. Hades plans to use this man against Perseus, but the plan amounts only to the two men fighting each other. Just another action scene. It could have actually been interesting and psychological, and I’m pretty sure Hades was hoping this guy had the ability to mess with Perseus’ emotions about his mother. After all, this is the guy who murdered the boy’s mother. But with Perseus that never comes up. Letterier doesn’t have time to get into it. He’s too busy conjuring up another beast to fight.
This movie squanders every potential plot point it has. It tries to use as much mythology as it can, including the three blind women who share one eye, as well as Pegassus, the winged horse, but these creatures are used like a checklist, never given more than a moment or a scene, to understand what they are all about.
With Clash of the Titans, Letterier has made a lousy movie. It’s not terrible, simple because the beasts do look cool, but boy is the storyline handled poorly. Especially when Hades starts making soap opera like threats on Mount Olympus against the other Greek Gods. As far as the story goes, at any given time the Greek gods could kill Perseus. There is no real threat here. And yet as the movie goes on, Perseus actually starts to be able to threaten Hades. Ridiculous. Letterier might be great at coming up with giant monsters, but he is a terrible storyteller. I enjoyed what he did with The Incredible Hulk, but that movie wasn’t embraced by the public. It wasn’t great or anything, but unfortunately it’s probably the best work this guy is capable of turning out. Clash of the Titans, on the other hand, is just a poorly written monster movie.