Title: Clash of the Titans
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton
Director: Louis Leterrier
Duration: 105 minutes
Format: Blu-ray and DVD (reviewed on DVD)
Sam Worthington is Perseus, the demi-god who takes up arms alongside humans when they declare war upon the Gods. I will admit to not liking Worthington all that much as an actor but here he produces a fairly sturdy performance. Liam Neeson is Zeus and Ralph Fiennes is Hades. Neither are particularly good. There roles are small so maybe they can be forgiven. Gemma Arterton is Io. It’s a pretty small role, she des the best she can to make it her own and to inhabit the character but I’d rather watch her with a bigger part in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
To be honest that’s the main problem with this film – too many big name actors in small roles. They clearly need more space, screen time and lines to assert themselves fully. Here Neeson, Fiennes and Arterton are all underused. These roles might have better been given to lesser known actors as none of them really needed big stars to play them.
Of course this is all an update of Ray Harryhausen’s 1981 camp classic. So how does it compare? Before you saw the film you might simply expect the acting to be better now. Well as you have read, at least in my opinion, it is and it isn’t. Okay but the effects must be better? Well, again, it is and it isn’t, Harryhausen’s monsters are shoddy by today’s standards but I have to admit that whenever Clash of the Titans or Jason and the Argonauts is on TV it does entertain. It’s a guilty pleasure isn’t it? CGI is not always a good thing and here it is evident in a couple of scenes that the CGI just doesn’t work very well. Just like the special effects from the early 80s it too is shoddy, albeit in a different way. And where Harryhausen’s early 80s work was good for its time, the same can’t be said now. We’ve seen much better CGI and special effects than this in other movies. And I don’t think Clash of the Titans had a small budget either. Was it wasted?
The film itself is well paced and still has a few tricks up its sleeves and it is enjoyable, although you might have to be in the right type of mood. The direction is also Okay, but there are times when I felt that the director could have had more effect upon the actors or shown more flair.
The 3D at the cinema really was pretty pointless and I’m glad that the Blu-ray / DVD version (as with several home entertainment releases) did away with the extra D and just went for plain old trustworthy 2D instead – I hate the glasses even more when viewing at home than I do at the cinema!
Overall Clash of the Titans is entertaining without being as good as it could have been. It’ll pass the time fairly nicely if you’re waiting for the special edition of Avatar but in many ways it’s a bit of an opportunity missed.