Friday, August 13, 2010


I would imagine that you have to try pretty hard to take material that is literally mythic, and a stellar cast, and produce a movie as plodding, hokey and unconvincing as CLASH OF THE TITANS. Director Louis Leterrier (THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THE TRANSPORTER) delivers a flick in which the CGI looks shittier than Harryhausen stop-motion and every single actor looks as automated as the Kraken. Leterrier has supermodels cast as Greek godesses and the not unattractive Mads Mikkelsen swinging a sword. He has Liam Neeson cast as Zeus; Ralph Fiennes cast as Hades and throws bit parts away on actors with the heft of Pete Postlethwaite. Most of all, he has a story filled with characters that have captivated audiences since thousands of years before Christ was born. And with all this, he creates a quivering mess. Shame, shame, shame.

This is, I suspect, what happens when you have a big budget, big actors and a lot of CGI. There's a sort of spreadsheet calculation that the movie simply can't fail. And yet, and yet, where is the directorial vision to cut through the large cast of characters and shape the underlying story? Where is the unique style of an epic like 300? Where is the producer to pull up the director and tell him that the eighty foot scorpion-Kraken is laughable?

Long story short, this movie sucks. But for the sake of form (and I can't believe I'm doing this because didn't we all learn this in school?) here's the plot summary. Zeus, chief God on Mount Olympus is pissed off because the people of Argos have become so arrogant that they refuse to worship him. In a fit of pique he allows his brother Hades to terrify the Argosians by unleashing a big beastie called the Krakan. Hades tells Zeus that this will cause the men to love him again and beg for his help; really Hades just wants to cause panic and seize power himself. So, back in Argos, the King's daughter Andromeda is to be sacrificed to the Kraken unless the demi-god Perseus (Sam Worthington - Aussie accent comical) can kill the Kraken first. He does this by cutting off the snake-addled head of Medusa (Natalia Vodianova) and using it is as a weapon. All this while Perseus has to come to terms with the fact that daddy was a god who forced himself upon mummy and then had his family killed. Perseus defeats the Kraken with the help of some buff Argossians (Mads Mikkelsen) and a hot chick who doesn't age (Gemma Arterton). And in an ending that defies legend with typical Hollywood producer arrogance, Perseus and Io have a nice romantic ending despite the fact she is pace legend basically his great grand-mother to the power of n.

Additional tags: Alexa Davalos, Elizabeth McGovern, Luke Treadaway, Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Beverley Cross, Agyness Deyn, Natalia Vodianova, Ramin Djawadi, Peter Mezies Jr

CLASH OF THE TITANS was released in April 2010 and is available on DVD and on iTunes.

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