CLASH OF THE TITANS

http://clash-of-the-titans.warnerbros.com/

USA / UK 2010  Directed by: Louis Leterrier  Produced by: Basil Iwanyk, Kevin De La Noy, Richard D. Zanuck  Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi  Cinematography by: Peter Menzies Jr.  Editing: Vincent Tabaillon, David Freeman  Music: Ramin Djawadi Cast: Sam Worthington, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Danny Huston, Gemma Arterton, Pete Postelthwaite, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson

Hollywood has been pretty successful so far in disappointing about every one of our expectations towards its most anticipated movies of 2010. CLASH OF THE TITANS is slightly different: it disappoints, but we haven’t expected it to be great in the first place.

CLASH OF THE TITANS is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It seems out of place: I am not sure how many people out there are into Greek mythology, but I am sure that the box office results look good despite the odd subject, not because of it. Yeah, it’s a remake, I know, so the 2010 CLASH OF THE TITANS didn’t come up with the idea. But it still doesn’t really want to fit into this day and age.

To make it simple: CLASH OF THE TITANS is outright silly. It looks silly, it sounds silly, it feels silly. Everybody acts silly in it. The fake beards don’t help either. Or some of the substandard special effects. Or some of the characters (A Kraken? Are you serious?).

Disregard of what is based on actual Greek mythology CLASH OF THE TITANS makes every bit of it look like a disneyfied version of high culture. I am sure that HBO would have done a better job in telling the story of Perseus than CLASH does.

CLASH OF THE TITANS is cutting a winding trail through ancient mythology and drops bits and pieces all around us: it’s too much to pick up on the fly, yet too little to make a big picture. As characters, scenes and places change by the minute we hardly understand any of it. If you already know who is who and how they are related your associations will complete the movie and fill in what’s missing. If you have no clue about Greek mythology before you watch the movie, you will leave the cinema without a substantial gain in knowledge.

On a very superficial level CLASH OF THE TITANS is eye candy, bombast, overwhelming. For those who know a bit of moviemaking CLASH OF THE TITANS is not more than a flawed fantasy genre exercise. All things taken into account it’s as silly as the unbearable Korean movie DRAGON WARS (D-WAR). Not quite as bad, but trash nevertheless.

It’s amazing how much effort went into CLASH OF THE TITANS though, and to be fair we have to acknowledge that Leterrier really is into the movie. But that’s not enough to make it work. Also, I am not sure if rewriting Kasdan’s original script was a smart idea. I’d like to believe that it wasn’t him who came up with lines like “We are fisherman. That’s what they can’t take away from us”. My goodness.

With little to zero substance or logic and uninspired action and special effects watching CLASH OF THE TITANS feels like watching the traffic: it’s passing you by without leaving an impression. In addition, it shamelessly rips other movies off: THE MUMMY, STARSHIP TROOPERS, STAR WARS, 300, and it’s most definitely lord-of-the-ringish. A new adjective comes to mind: demigood. Better go see the originals.

Louis Leterrier has threatened to expand CLASH OF THE TITANS into a trilogy. Zeus forbid.

J.


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